Dixon Arnett has completed more than 30 years of public service, having begun his career at almost the same time that he joined the Junior Statesmen Foundation board of trustees in 1968. At the time he had just been elected, at age 30, to the city council of Redwood City, Calif.
After two years as a councilman and after leaving his post as director of community affairs at Stanford University (from which he graduated in 1960), Arnett was elected, and re-elected, to four terms as a California state assemblyman, representing southern San Mateo County. During his tenure, he served on education, health and welfare committees. At the same time Arnett continued on the Junior Statesmen Foundation board, and became its president.
Later, Arnett was vice president for public affairs at Claremont McKenna College, then served six years at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (three years a deputy under-secretary), served as legislative director to then-U.S. Senator Pete Wilson and had his own consulting business in Washington, D.C.
Arnett completed his public service in the administration of Gov. Pete Wilson as executive director of the Medical Board of California and as director of the California Department of Aging.
Since "retirement," Arnett has written or co-written three books -- a memoir, a political commentary on presidential politics and a book on independent living for the nation's elders. The last, "The Wisdom to Choose," was published in January 2002. Arnett is now an adjunct professor of gerontology at San Diego State University and is a trustee emeritus of the Junior Statesmen Foundation.