Former East Bay Rep. Ellen Tauscher will lead a California coalition charged with promoting the state's military installations and defense industries in Washington, D.C.

Gov. Jerry Brown announced his choice Thursday as part of a major push to bolster California's interests amid federal cutbacks. California is home to 29 federal military installations, and the Department of Defense directly employs more than 236,000 people in the Golden State.

In addition to Tauscher, the unpaid Governor's Military Council will include former high-ranking military leaders from different branches, along with state lawmakers and business leaders, Brown's office announced.

Tauscher, who represented most of Contra Costa County and the 10th Congressional District for seven terms and served as undersecretary to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, received a strong public recommendation for her new role from U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

"Ellen Tauscher is an excellent choice to chair this council, as she brings a wealth of experience at the State Department and as a member of the House of Representatives," Feinstein said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story. Contact Lisa Vorderbrueggen at 925-945-4773, lvorderbrueggen@bayareanewsgroup.com, politicswithlisav.blogspot.com or Twitter.com/lvorderbrueggen.