Acting CA DCSS Director Michael Wilkening Recognized for Dedicated Career to Public Service

By: Dana Simas, CA DCSS

During this year’s annual Public Service Recognition Week ceremony held at the State Capitol on Thursday, May 10, the Governor’s Office staff issued the very first Cliff Allenby Excellence in State Service Award. The award is named in honor of the Department of State Hospital’s former director, Cliff Allenby, who served the State of California for more than 50 years.

Acting California Department of Child Support Services Director, and Undersecretary of California Health and Human Services Agency, Michael Wilkening was one of the first recipients of this award for his 23 years of state service. Michael has served as Acting CA DCSS Director since early 2018 and has been Undersecretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency since 2008. In this role, he is responsible for twelve departments, along with various Boards, Commissions, and Offices. Prior to joining Agency, he served in a number of leadership positions at the California Department of Finance, including Program Budget Manager for the Health and Human Services Unit.

“I’m especially honored to be receiving an award that’s named after Cliff Allenby who has been a longtime mentor of mine,” said Wilkening. “He has been there to provide me with guidance and to serve as an example of what it really means to be a public servant.”

Amy Tong, Director of the Department of Technology also received the Cliff Allenby Excellence in State Service award.

Throughout the country, mayors, governors, agency leaders, communities and public service organizations participate in Public Service Recognition Week by issuing proclamations; hosting award ceremonies and special tribute events; and delivering messages about the value of public service.

To check out a video of the Cliff Allenby Excellence in State Service Award, visit: