Meet Don Clintsman

Don Clintsman

Don Clintsman is the Acting Secretary of the Department of Social and Health Services, Washington largest state agency encompassing a biennial budget of $16 billion, nearly 17,000 employees and 23,000 contracted service providers. The department serves some 2.4 million Washington residents each year. As Secretary, he provides executive level strategic and policy direction for the department while supporting the success of all programs through information technology services, human resources, communications, innovation and strategy, public records, diversity and inclusion, Indian policy and other critical central and statewide services.

Prior to becoming Acting Secretary of DSHS, he served as the Chief of Staff since 2018. Before that, he was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the department’s Developmental Disabilities Administration from 2013 until 2018 and Assistant Director for the Aging and Disabilities Administration Division from 2006 until 2013. He also served as the Deputy Director of the Finance Division from 2000 until 2006 and as Contracts Office Chief from 1997 until 2000. Don served in a variety of capacities with the Children’s Administration from 1988 through 1997 and began his career with DSHS in 1982 as a Juvenile Rehabilitation Counselor.  

He holds a bachelor’s degree from The Evergreen State College and completed the Executive Management Program at the University of Washington’s Dan Evans School of Public Affairs. He also served the U.S. Air Force from 1974-1977 and received an honorable discharge.