Jan 27, 2013
The wife of California Governor Jerry Brown, the first lady previously served as Chief Administrative Officer and Executive Vice President of The Gap Inc., as a director of Jack in the Box Inc., and as a California attorney.
As First Lady of California, Anne Gust Brown is fulfilling what many (affectionately) say is the most defining role of her lifetime: "Mrs. Moonbeam".
Working alongside her husband, Jerry Brown, the 39th Governor of California, Anne Gust Brown serves in the position of 'special counsel' without pay. She and Governor Brown eliminated the Office of the First Lady as part of their budget cutting agenda.
One of the vital components to Jerry Brown's gubernatorial comeback victory was the political strategy that he and his wife had devised to reclaim the governorship of the Golden State.
"It took a lot of courage to keep with it, despite all that criticism, but we did. We just said, 'What is our strategy going to be given that, and we're only going to have about $30 to $35 million to spend?'" Anne Gust Brown recalled after the couple's election day triumph.
The Browns' disciplined strategy suggests the husband-wife teamwork that will continue throughout their term in office.
Jerry Brown's "conservative half" is far more than a first lady who poses for snapshots at ceremonies and ribbon-cuttings.
"There's a lot of important issues that will face California, and wherever I can be most helpful is where I'd like to be," First Lady Anne Gust Brown emphasized.
The experienced California business executive, 54, exudes a self-confidence and assertiveness which serves a modern first lady and her state effectively.
Governor Jerry Brown openly praises his spouse as his strongest ally.
"I think she's very well organized. She's very insightful, very quick, sizes up things very quickly, and so in that sense she's a very good partner and has lots of great ideas," declared the governor.
First Lady Anne Gust Brown has voted Republican, Democrat and Independent. She provides her husband with a well-rounded conservative perspective as well as a keen sense of public sentiment on California's issues.
"My dad ran for lieutenant governor with Mitt Romney's father, so I was a registered Republican. I think that's natural. When I went to Stanford, the first presidential campaign I got involved with was John Anderson, and he was independent," said the first lady. "Being a Republican back then was very different. You didn't have the social issues that they seem very obsessed on."
The woman who finally roped Governor Moonbeam at age 67 stated humorously, "I'm proud my husband worked so hard to protect marriage for others, even though it took him 15 years to pop the question to me."
Jerry Brown says that he found a companion with whom he can dine, travel and exercise. Anne makes the decisions in their personal life together, especially in the areas of real estate and fashion.
In Brown's campaign for California governor, Anne raised money and provided the campaign with direction as she had done for his successful 2006 run for attorney general.
Her father, Rockwell Gust, was a 1962 candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Michigan. Anne Gust was born on March 15, 1958 - the Ides of March.
"I don't need a plan when I have such a good planner at my side all the time," Brown said of Anne, who holds a Political Science degree from Stanford University.
Anne Gust Brown's primary mission is to help her husband optimize the Golden State together as an effective, accomplished and successful team.
Many are fascinated by the way the first lady helps her husband maneuver around the obstacles of a 21st-century California by evaluating each issue with her experience as a Republican, Independent and Democrat.
The accomplished executive's corporate experience in California's big business arena is handy in Sacramento, a town which many say could use the first lady's conservative touch and liberal sense of humor.
Anne Gust Brown | First Lady of California