Eloise Anderson

Where and when

Eloise Anderson is the Claremont Institute’s Director of the Program for the American Family. Ms. Anderson has been director of social services first in the state of Wisconsin and most recently in California.

Eloise Anderson

Eloise Anderson is nationally and internationally cited as a champion of welfare reform across the United States. She was named by the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives to the National Advisory Board on Welfare Indicators and was honored with the 1996 National Governors’ Association award for outstanding state official.

Ms. Anderson was appointed to her previous post by former Governor Pete Wilson in 1992. As head of the nation’s largest welfare system, she had to cope with a system that consumes one quarter of all the money spent nationwide on welfare, a soaring out-of-wedlock birthrate, and a teen pregnancy rate higher than any other state. She demanded that parents be accountable to their children by ensuring that kids attend school and be immunized as a condition of receiving aid.

Ms. Anderson also dramatically turned public opinion around regarding the destructiveness of AFDC and led the way in crafting California’s new welfare reform program, CalWORKs. Her view that the state’s 58 counties be empowered to design what is best for their local communities is now a centerpiece of the Golden State’s innovative approach to welfare delivery.

Her candid, thought-provoking ideas on welfare reform, child welfare, and other prominent social issues have made her one of the most respected and sought after public officials in the nation. She has been featured on 60 Minutes, NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, Lehrer News Hour, the British Broadcasting Company (BBC), and interviewed by the Foreign Press Association. She has also been profiled in The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Mirabella Magazine, and The Weekly Standard.

Under former Governor Wilson, Eloise Anderson directed the operations of a department with 4,200 employees and a budget of nearly $18 billion. She was responsible for implementing a wide range of federal and state laws and setting administrative policy regarding welfare grant levels and benefits, community care licensing standards, disability evaluation determination, and child welfare services. She oversaw such diverse programs as child support enforcement, foster care, adoptions, child abuse prevention, child care, refugee support, emergency assistance, and special services to the aged, blind and deaf individuals.