Michael Wilkening was appointed as Special Advisor on Innovation and Digital Services by Governor Gavin Newsom in April 2019. In this role, he is responsible for coordinating and shaping the Administration’s initiatives to improve the delivery of public services to Californians.
Wilkening previously served as Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS) and as Chair of Covered California for Governor Brown. Prior to his appointment as Secretary, Wilkening was Undersecretary of CHHS for Governor Brown and Governor Schwarzenegger. He served in several positions at the California Department of Finance from 1995 to 2008, including program budget manager for the Health and Human Services Unit. Wilkening was executive sponsor of the California Health and Human Services Open Data Initiative and Agency Technology Governance Council. He earned a Master of Arts degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.