Ravel, a Democrat, was approved alongside Republican Lee Goodman.
The Federal Election Commission has been plagued by political gridlock, and the two nominees mark the first new commissioners on the panel since Obama first took office more than four years ago.
Ravel is expected to serve at least one more month as chairwoman of California’s Fair Political Practices Commission, according to Evan Westrup, a spokesman for Gov. Jerry Brown.
Westrup said the governor is looking for a replacement.
"Our focus is building a broad and diverse pool of applicants and selecting the best possible candidate," Westrup said. "That will dictate the timing of the appointment."
Ravel received national attention for her battle with an Arizona nonprofit that contributed $11 million to two California campaigns without disclosing its donors.
State officials have continued to investigate the donation, which Ravel called "campaign money-laundering."