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Dugoni alumna, professor serves on governor’s economic recovery committee

May 21, 2020

Dr. Natasha Lee ’00 will take part in important conversations with governmental and business heavyweights as California moves forward economically from the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Lee to his Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery. Among the other committee members are former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, Walt Disney Company Executive Chairman Robert Iger, Apple CEO Tim Cook and all living former California governors. 

Dr. Natasha Lee ’00
Dr. Natasha Lee ’00

Lee is a private practice dentist in San Francisco and assistant professor and course director of practice management and jurisprudence for University of the Pacific’s Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. She said Newsom has had a good working relationship with the California Dental Association. 

“He seems to understand dentistry,” she told the American Dentistry Association News. “He’s willing to engage with us and has attended CDA Cares events in the past.” 

Lee served as CDA president in 2018. Her involvement in pandemic economic recovery is part of a nationwide trend of similar work by dentists, ADA News reports.

Lee told ADA News “my voice will be heard. I’m quick to raise my hand on Zoom.” She added that her messages focus on dentists as small businesses and part of the health care infrastructure, in addition to overall safety for doctors, dental personnel and patients. 

“This pandemic has forced millions of Californians out of jobs – with the most vulnerable hit the hardest,” Newsom said in a press release. “While we have made significant progress in flattening the curve and increased preparedness of our health care delivery system, the actions taken have also impacted the economy, poverty and overall health care in California.” 

The task force met virtually for the first time on May 11. More frequent task force meetings are planned as California makes decisions on reopening the economy.

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