Erin Gabel is the Deputy Director of the External and Governmental Affairs Office, where she is responsible for the Commission's legislative and public affairs initiatives. Prior to joining the First 5 California team, Erin was the education consultant for California State Senate President pro Tempore, Darrell Steinberg, and advised the pro Tem and Senate on a wide range of education reform issues that included preschool and early learning, kindergarten through grade 12 public education, and higher education.

Before joining Senator Steinberg's policy team, Erin was the Director of Government Affairs Division at the California Department of Education. Erin was responsible for the Department's involvement in all state and federal budget and legislative processes. She served State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson as a policy advisor under different hats in the Department, Assembly, and the Senate over an eleven year tenure.

Prior to working at the state Capitol, Erin served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia. Erin was one of the founding staff members of the Partnership for Children and Youth as their first Children Nutrition Project Director, and now serves on its Board of Directors. Erin is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and the proud mother of two young and active boys, August and Rhys.