The University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law community mourns the passing of Allan Zaremberg, ’78, who passed away February 4 in Sacramento. Zaremberg was a member of the McGeorge Dean’s Cabinet, an Air Force Veteran, and a former CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce.
Zaremberg served as the president and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce for over two decades, where he was an unwavering advocate for policies that fostered economic growth, job creation, and business-friendly environments.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Zaremberg earned his law degree from McGeorge School of Law 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 moving on as the executive vice president of the chamber. In 1998, Zaremberg became the president and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce, where he served until his retirement in 2021.
During his tenure at the CalChamber, Zaremberg was a leading voice in shaping the state’s business climate. He advocated for statewide ballots that would ensure adequate funding for transportation infrastructure, and 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.
His passing has been met with an outpouring of grief and tributes from colleagues and leaders across the state.
“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 statements, adding that, “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.”
Throughout the years, Zaremberg remained close to McGeorge and continued to support and volunteer his time with the school through the Capital Center for Law & Policy and the Dean’s Cabinet, which he was a member of since its inception in 2018. Members of the Dean’s Cabinet provide strategic guidance to the dean 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. 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,” Zaremberg told McGeorge staff in 2013 regarding his volunteer work with the law school.
He added that law school provides a unique foundation for developing the skills for problem solving, and that McGeorge is particularly effective in graduates who have a deep understanding of the process of lawmaking and judicial interpretation.
“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 the golden retriever Henry. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and the many Californians whose lives he touched during his remarkable career.
For more information about McGeorge School of Law, visit our website.