Donald White
Senior Advisor

Donald White


Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration – Whittier College, Whittier, CA (1981)


About Donald

Don has 40 years of local government experience in two California cities where he served in numerous capacities and departments, including 26 years as Human Resources Director where he oversaw all recruitments. He retired as City Manager in 2021. Since then, he has provided consulting services for several cities. His assignments have included workshop facilitation, team building, goal setting, strategic planning, organizational analysis and financial sustainability. He also served as an interim Deputy City Manager for Lake Forest, CA where he oversaw the Community Services Department and the Marketing and Communications Department, conducted an organizational analysis, and assisted in the recruitment of the new Deputy City Manager. He joined Raftelis in January of 2024.

Don’s most recent direct local government experience was with Laguna Hills, California where he served 29 years.  He started with the newly incorporated city in 1991 as the Director of Administrative Services and was promoted to Assistant City Manager in 1994. From 2018 to 2021, he served as City Manager. Prior to being named City Manager, he oversaw human resources, finance, risk management, information technology, public information, economic development, and parks and recreation. As Human Resources Director, he oversaw all recruitments, including multiple executive level recruitments for Finance Director, Community Development Director, Public Works Director, Community Services Director, and City Clerk.  During his tenure, he was instrumental in the start-up of the new City, two major annexations, several complex development agreements, the planning and development of a major Community Center and Sports Complex, and the acquisition and renovation of what is now the Laguna Hills Civic Center. He conducted numerous organizational analyses and was the team lead on strategic planning and long-term financial planning. He was consistently recognized by the Government Finance Officers Association for award winning budgets and financial reporting and navigated the City through the great recession and the pandemic.

Before joining Laguna Hills, Don served as Economic Development Director in La Mirada, California, where he oversaw the City’s Redevelopment Agency. He started his local government career in La Mirada as an Administrative Intern while completing his college studies.  During his 11 years with La Mirada, he served in various capacities, including Assistant to the City Manager.