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Acting Director's Page - Cliff Allenby
Cliff Allenby, Acting Director,
California Department of Mental Health
On January 3, 2011, Cliff Allenby was appointed by California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary, Diana Dooley, as Acting Director for the California Department of Mental Health. Allenby is committed to informed public policy and is considered a “veteran” California official because of his extensive knowledge and years of service in state government under seven different Administrations.
He was previously appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger as the Interim Director for the Department of Social Services (DSS), effective January 2006. Prior to this appointment, Allenby spent eight years as the Director of the Department of Development Services (DDS) after being appointed by Governor Pete Wilson in November 1997. Both DSS and DDS represent two of nine departments under the California Health and Human Services Agency, which is responsible for administering health care, social services, public assistance and rehabilitation programs. In February 1999, he was appointed by Governor Gray Davis to serve as the Interim Director for the Department of General Services (DGS). Cliff also served as a member of Governor George Deukmejian’s cabinet when he was the Agency Secretary of the Health and Welfare Agency from 1987 to 1990. He had oversight of 11 departments and offices with more than 40,000 employees and budgets exceeding $28 billion.
In February 1996, Allenby accepted a position to serve as the Chief Legislative Representative for Los Angeles County, the largest county in California and very prominent in the legislative arena.
From 1991 to 1996, Cliff worked with the California Building Industry Association (CBIA), where he was Senior Staff Vice-President for Governmental Affairs.
Cliff spent 23 years with the State Department of Finance, where he started as an Administrative Trainee in January 1963 and eventually rose to become Deputy Director. During his tenure he covered all program aspects of the Department from tax policy, economic analysis, and revenue estimating to being responsible for preparing the Governor’s Annual Budget.
Allenby is the recipient of many career honors including “Outstanding Public Administrator” awarded in 1984 by the American Society of Public Administrators. A community activist for more than 20 years, he has served on the Elk Grove Unified School District Governing Board for 17 ½ years, the Governing Board of CORO Foundation and the Community Planning Council. He remains active in the Elk Grove Community, where he lives with his wife, Sandy.
A graduate of California State University Humboldt, he has pursued graduate work at California State University campus in San Jose, and the University of California campuses of Berkeley, and Davis.