Gov. Mike Dunleavy has replaced Office of Management and Budget director Donna Arduin with Amanda Holland, a longtime state Department of Transportation and OMB official.
The governor’s office announced the move Tuesday afternoon, saying in a written statement that Holland will work as acting OMB director while the governor searches for a permanent replacement for Arduin, who was the architect of the governor’s cost-cutting plan during his first year in office.
“While we look to fill this role on a permanent basis, I’m excited to have Amanda Holland step in as acting OMB director,” the governor said in the statement. “Not only does she bring years of knowledge and management experience to the table, she is well-suited to lead OMB and our departments in building out the FY21 budget.”
Holland and any permanent replacement do not require legislative confirmation.
Holland will be paid at an annual rate of $146,760 while she serves as OMB director, said Matt Shuckerow, the governor’s press secretary. That’s up from her previous salary of $133,332, according to public records. Shuckerow said the pay hike is a three-step increase according to the state employee salary schedule. (Arduin had earned $195,000 per year.)
The Office of Management and Budget is the executive branch’s accounting office, in charge of drafting and tracking budgets statewide. Dunleavy faces a Dec. 15 deadline to deliver a draft budget to the Alaska Legislature, and according to a budget timeline issued by OMB in late August, budget officials are deep in the process of creating that draft.
According to a biography provided by DOT, Holland has been a state employee for 27 years, having worked in the departments of Administration, Public Safety, Corrections and Commerce as well as Transportation. Before joining the state, she worked as a research associate for Personnel Decisions International, focusing on executive coaching and development. After the Dunleavy administration consolidated departments’ budget officials under the Office of Management and Budget, Holland became management director of the revised OMB.
She has lived in Juneau for over 35 years and graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School. She holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology and a master’s degree in organizational leadership, according to the biography.
Arduin’s deputy, Laura Cramer, said by phone that she had been offered the top OMB job but is not interested, either on an acting or permanent basis.
“It’s just not where I’m at personally in my life. It’s not a direction I’m wanting to go in right now,” she said.
Arduin had been scheduled to leave state service Oct. 1 to become a paid consultant, but it was announced Tuesday that her term as a state employee has been extended two weeks while details of her contract with the state are worked out.