By Marty Omoto
Santi Rogers, Director of the Department of Developmental Services will retire from state service, effective December 1, 2015. The surprise announcement was made by California Health and Human Services Secretary Diana Dooley who praised the commitment and work of Rogers. She thanked Rogers, widely respected for his long career working for the rights of children and adults with developmental disabilities, noting that he ended up serving beyond his one year commitment as director of the Department of Developmental Services.
Rogers, whose appointment was announced January 14, 2014, took office in March 3, 2014, He was confirmed by the State Senate in February 17, 2015 by a vote of 36 to 0. Rogers succeeded Terri Degadillo who retired from state service in December 2013
No replacement has yet been selected and a search for a new director will be underway. Dooley said that given the short time frame that it was “doubtful” that Rogers’ replacement would be decided by his retirement date of December 1st but that “interim leadership” would be put in place as it was before when Delgadillo, the previous director before Rogers, retired from state service two years ago.
The Department of Developmental Services is an agency under the California Health and Human Services Agency, serving over 296,000 children and adults with developmental disabilities through the 21 non-profit regional centers and a network of community-based organizations and individuals who provide services and supports. The latest budget for the department in the 2015-2016 State Budget is over $5.9 billion ($3.5 billion of that is State general funds), an increase of $456.7 million above the last year’s 2014-2015 State Budget (an increase of 8.3%).
SECRETARY DOOLEY PRAISED ROGERS COMMITMENT FOR “ALL THAT YOU HAVE DONE & INSPIRED US TO DO…”
Dooley praised Rogers saying that he in “…so many ways embodied the decades of commitment that created the Lanterman Act,” and that she was “…deeply grateful and appreciative” for all that “you have done and all that you have inspired us to do…”
ROGERS BORN AND RAISED IN FRESNO – SERVED PREVIOUSLY AS DIRECTOR OF SAN ANDREAS REGIONAL CENTER
Born and raised in Fresno, California, Rogers had long experience in state government dating back to Governor Brown’s first administration, working 27 years within the Department of Developmental Services as a Special Education Teacher; Director of Title I Early Education Program; Program Director; Deputy Director for the division in the department that oversaw regional centers.
He served as a Director at four Developmental Centers: Stockton (1976), Sonoma (1985), Porterville (1987) and Agnews (1992). Rogers retired from his first tour of duty in State service in 1995. From 1995 to 2014, he served as executive director of San Andreas Regional Center before his temporary return to State service as Director of the Department of Developmental Services in 2014.