Mike Genest, Schwarzenegger’s Finance Director, to Retire
Mike Genest, director of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Department of Finance, is stepping down, likely by the end of this year.
Since his appointment by the GOP governor in December 2005, Genest, 62, has been forced to cope with the worst budget crises in California’s history. Seemingly unflappable, he helped create a budget in February to close a $36 billion hole between revenues and spending commitments and helped generate another $24 billion in budget fixes in July after the stagnant economy drove the budget out of balance.
Genest, previously the head of the Senate Republican fiscal team, became deputy director of the Department of Finance in November 2003, a month after Schwarzenegger’s election. He left finance in February 2005, spending seven months as undersecretary of the Health and Human Services Agency. He returned to Finance in September 2005 as acting director, succeeding Tom Campbell, now a GOP candidate for governor.
Genest also spent 10 years in the Legislative Analyst’s Office. Before the Legislative Analyst’s Office, Genest worked in the Governor’s Bureau of the Budget in Illinois. He received his master’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley, Graduate School of Public Policy in 1980.
He is married to Katherine Stafford Genest and has two sons, Lieutenant Thomas Genest, USN and Lieutenant Dennis Genest, United States Army.
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