|Mike Dayton, Acting Secretary|
Mike Dayton is the Acting Secretary of the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) in the Administration of Governor Jerry Brown. Acting Secretary Dayton is only the second person to lead Cal EMA, which was formed in 2009 after the merger of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security (OHS) and Emergency Services (OES).
Mike was born and raised in California's Central Valley. He worked at the California Governor’s Office of Homeland Security since its inception in March of 2003. After the formation of Cal EMA, Mike served as the agency’s first Chief of Staff and Deputy Secretary until his promotion to Undersecretary, before being named Acting Secretary.
As Acting Secretary of Cal EMA, Mike is stalwart in his efforts to continue to strengthen California’s abilities to prepare for, prevent, deter, respond to and recover from any disaster, man-made or natural. His mission of empowering Cal EMA employees to perform their roles to the utmost in the mission of helping and protecting the public is paramount in the daily activities of the agency. His expertise in leveraging existing resources to facilitate efficiency and effectiveness are vital to the effort he leads.
While not only offering a wide- ranging, innovative vision of the mission and purpose of Cal EMA, Mike also enables the team of professionals at the agency to oversee the day-to-day management and operations. He is responsible for the overall strategic initiatives and provides guidance on the investment of federal and state funds to enhance homeland security and emergency preparedness capabilities in California. In previous roles he coordinated the agency’s collaboration with the California Legislature and Congressional delegation and managed the communications, audits, civil rights, legal, legislative affairs and policy divisions at Cal EMA.
Prior to joining the office of Homeland Security and Cal EMA, Mike was a Congressional staffer in Washington D.C. for 13 years. During this time, Mike gained broad policy experience on a number of issues important to California. For four years he was the principal consultant to the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of 23 moderate members of Congress who were dedicated to finding non-partisan solutions to fiscal and regulatory issues. The budgets developed by the Blue Dogs consistently received high marks from editorial pages and non-partisan public policy groups.
As a Congressional staff member, Mike participated in a number of California delegation efforts, ranging from protecting California's film industry from unfair trading practices to securing much needed funds for specialty crops and research to combat Pierce's disease. He also played a major role in "Team California", a bi-partisan effort that brought together six members of Congress, six members of the State Assembly and six members of the State Senate to modify federal formulas that were causing California to receive less than its fair share of funding.
Mike graduated from California State University, Sacramento and received a B.A. degree in Government.