Darby Kernan has worked on California public policy issues for several decades, both as an advocate and on behalf of elected and appointed state officials. From 2014 to 2021, Ms. Kernan served the California State Association of Counties (CSAC), first as Senior Legislative Representative, representing CSAC on Administration of Justice issues, and later as CSAC’s Deputy Executive Director over Legislation.
Prior to her work at CSAC, Ms. Kernan served as Chief Consultant for the California State Senate President Pro Tempore, responsible primarily for the policy areas of public safety and mental health. In that capacity, she played pivotal roles in developing legislation and shaping state budget priorities and initiatives. Ms. Kernan spent her early years in the state Senate working on policy issues that included health care, transportation, housing and public safety. Ms. Kernan also served as the Assistant Secretary in the Office of Legislation for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation under then-Governor Jerry Brown. In that position, she provided oversight on key legislation and advised executive management on developments concerning significant legislation impacting adult and juvenile corrections. Before her career in Sacramento, Ms. Kernan was a Peace Corps volunteer serving in Senegal, West Africa.