McGeorge School of Law alumnus Allan Zaremberg ’78, a leading voice in California’s business community and trusted advisor to several governors, died Feb. 4 in Sacramento at the age of 74.
Zaremberg served as president and chief executive officer of the California Chamber of Commerce for more than two decades. He was an unwavering advocate for policies that fostered economic growth and job creation. He also was a founding member of the McGeorge School of Law Dean’s Cabinet and a veteran.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Zaremberg earned his law degree from McGeorge after serving in the United States Air Force from 1970 to 1975. He began his career in public service as a legislative staffer and lobbyist before becoming executive vice president of the chamber. Zaremberg became CEO in 1998, where he served until his retirement in 2021.
During his chamber tenure, Zaremberg shaped the state’s business climate, advocating for statewide ballots that would ensure adequate funding for transportation infrastructure. He vigorously opposed anti-business proposals that would have increased the cost of health care, electricity and public works. He also championed policies that gave job creators the certainty and stability they needed to make investment and hiring decisions.
“Allan was not only the leader of California’s business community for decades, he was a friend and mentor to hundreds of people in the Capitol community,” CalChamber CEO Jennifer Barrera said in a statement. “Allan’s strategic mind and high standards set a great example for us all, yet throughout his career he remained humble and approachable. He was a leader who genuinely cared about people—whether you were on the same side of a political issue or not.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s statement echoed similar sentiments, adding, “Allan helped shape California’s work to strengthen, innovate and grow our economy and ensure the state remains the best place to start and grow a business.”
Zaremberg remained close to McGeorge throughout his career. He volunteered with the school through the Capital Center for Law & Policy and the Dean’s Cabinet, which he joined at its inception in 2018. Members of the Dean’s Cabinet provide strategic guidance on matters intended to further the mission of the law school.
“If I can help anybody else enhance their career and provide guidance and on top of that make McGeorge a better place, if I can help McGeorge have a better program, then I think that will result in a better education for the students,” Zaremberg told McGeorge staff in 2013. “I feel grateful for the education that I’ve had and the opportunities that it brought to me, so anything I can do to give back is worthwhile.”
“Allan was a wonderful colleague and an integral member of the Dean’s Cabinet,” said Dean Michael Hunter Schwartz. “He will be dearly missed by the McGeorge School of Law community and Californians.”
Zaremberg is survived by his wife Karen, their son Adam, a grandson, his sister Darlene and his golden retriever Henry.