Don Ashton

Governance, Evaluations, Strategic Planning & Organizational Development

Don Ashton brings a broad range of public sector experience spanning close to 30 years in large and small counties, approximately 20 of which were in executive management level positions.  His career includes executive-level experience in human resources, finance and budget, program reviews and audits, as well as serving as the Director of Health and Human Services and the Chief Administrative Officer for El Dorado County. Don provides executive coaching, board governance, strategic planning, CEO evaluations, and organizational development services as well as defining roles and responsibilities for directors and executives as they interact with staff. 

As the Chief Administrative Officer for El Dorado County, he brought much needed stability to the organization through the development of a working strategic plan, good governance manual and budget policies that served as the guiding principles for the organization. These efforts resulted in significant improvements to the County’s financial position, employee morale and partnerships with other government organizations, non-profits and the business community. Don recently retired as the Chief Administrative Officer for El Dorado County, a position he held for approximately 7 years, working with numerous elected officials from counties, cities, fire districts and other special districts. His collaborative approach to building relationships and trust brought people of various backgrounds and perspectives together to improve services in El Dorado County.

Don began his career in 1993 working for Los Angeles County as a Registered Environmental Health Specialist.  While working for Los Angeles County, he returned to college in 1995 and graduated from California State University, Northridge with a Masters in Public Administration in 1997. Over the next 13 years he worked in a variety of executive leadership positions in human resources, finance and contract administration.

In 2011 Don relocated to El Dorado County initially as the Chief Fiscal Officer for the Sheriff’s Office. During his time in El Dorado County, he worked in the Chief Administrative Office, served as the Director of Health & Human Services for three years, and concluded his career as the Chief Administrative Officer, a position he held from May 2016 through March 2023.

Don also served on the governing board for the Greater Sacramento Economic Council, volunteered on the board for the Boys & Girls Club, was a guest lecturer at California State University, Sacramento, and participated in a variety of other public speaking roles such Economic Development in rural California, local government administration, federal advocacy and as the keynote speaker at events put on by the Greater Sacramento Economic Council as well as the El Dorado County Water Agency.

Outside of work, Don and his wife Anne served as foster parents to two teenage youth, one of which was in the juvenile justice system, and both are now successful, self-sufficient adults.