Deputy Director of Fuels & Transportation Division

Photo of Deputy Director John Kato

John Kato has over 20 years of diverse experience including the development and implementation of California environmental air regulatory policies and programs, serving in the military, and working in a small family-owned business. His current focus is the implementation of energy policies in the Fuel and Transportation Division at the California Energy Commission (Energy Commission).

Prior to the Energy Commission, Mr. Kato’s experience at the California Air Resources Board (CARB) encompassed a diverse range of topics including ambient air monitoring, emissions testing, as well as state and federal regulation and policy. He has overseen programs that include small business financing, emissions testing of hybrid trucks, and technology demonstration projects. Prior to ARB, he had a short stint as a District Circulation Manager at the Fresno Bee where ironically the want-ads provided asegue to a position as an inspector for the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. At the air district, Mr. Kato conducted USEPA Level IV compliance inspections, provided permit and enforcement assistance, and handled complaint resolutions.

All the while, Mr. Kato dedicated time to military service as an officer in the California Army National Guard. His duty highlights included field time as a platoon leader and company commander, an aide to Brigadier General Ezell Ware Jr., and a Guard State environmental officer. His tours of duty include Panama, Germany, and post-9/11 airport security for SFO. His notable community support efforts include providing a snow day for an underprivileged Fresno grade school and helping with San Bruno’s Operation Clean Sweep and Coats for Kids.

Mr. Kato’s work ethic is grounded in the early years he spent helping with the family almond growing business. As a Nisei, Mr. Kato holds hard work and family as cornerstones of his values. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from UC Berkeley and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Golden Gate University.