McGeorge School of Law

Profile: Noreen Evans

Noreen Evans
Noreen Evans

Class of 1981

Senior Consultant, Evans Strategic Solutions (Santa Rosa, Calif.)
Attorney, O'Brien Watters & Davis, LLP

Noreen Evans was honored on March 16, 2106 with the first ever Capital Center Distinguished Alumnus award.

Evans is currently an attorney at O'Brien Watters & Davis, LLP in Santa Rosa, California and running for Supervisor of Santa Rosa County. Evans represented California's Second Senatorial District, encompassing all or portions of the counties of Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Solano and Sonoma, from 2010-2014. Due to redistricting, she now also represents Marin County in a "caretaker" capacity. Senate District 2 stretches 10,000 square miles over one third of California's coastline, and is home to a world-renowned wine industry, California's beloved and historic giant redwood forests and 55 of California's treasured State Parks.

During her term, then-Senator Evans chaired the Senate Select Committee on Wine. Additionally, she served as a member of the committees on Health, Human Services, Judiciary, Natural Resources & Water, Legislative Ethics, the Select Committee on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the Select Committee on Science, Innovation and Public Policy and the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture. Likewise, she was a member of the Legislative Environmental Caucus, Rural Caucus, Ending Poverty in California (EPIC) Caucus and the Women's Caucus.

Her policy priorities included protecting our environment, fighting for women and children, and reforming our legal system to promote access to justice for all.

Evans previously served in the State Assembly from 2004-2010 where she served as Majority Whip, Democratic Caucus Chair, Human Services Committee Chair, and Budget Committee Chair. She was also a member of the Banking and Finance Committee, the Governmental Organization Committee, and the Joint Legislative Audit Committee. Representing much of California's premium wine growing region, Evans also chaired the Assembly Select Committee on Wine for all of her six years in the Assembly.

Evans served as a Commissioner for the Commission on the Status of Women where she advised the Governor and the Legislature on inequities in laws, practices, and conditions that affect women. She also served on the California Coastal Conservancy, the Pacific Fisheries Legislative Task Force, and the Western State Legislative Forestry Task Force.

Prior to her election to the Assembly in 2004, Evans served two terms on the Santa Rosa City Council, and three years on the Santa Rosa Planning Commission. An attorney by training, Evans practiced law for more than twenty years, focusing on civil litigation and appeals. She has litigated before both state and federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court. Recently, Evans became the first woman to receive the Defender of Justice Award from the Judicial Council of California.

Senator Evans has a Juris Doctor degree from the McGeorge School of Law at the University of Pacific and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from California State University, Sacramento. She lives in Sebastopol and has three children: Erin, Joel, and Rachel.