Gov. DeSantis appoints Pedro Allende to lead Department of Management Services

Pedro Allende Headshot
Allende has held past roles with the U.S. departments of Energy, Labor and Homeland Security.

The Department of Management Services, which serves as the business arm of Florida government, has a new lead administrator: Pedro Allende, a Miami-based lawyer and former infrastructure bigwig within the United States Department of Homeland Security.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office announced Allende’s appointment in a Tuesday press note. In an accompanying statement, DeSantis touted Allende’s extensive background in government work.

“His knowledge and experience protecting critical infrastructure against cybersecurity threats will bolster our efforts to protect Floridians’ data and keep our communities safe,” DeSantis said.

A member of the Republican National Lawyers Association and an adjunct professor at the University of Florida College of Law, his alma mater, Allende previously worked as a senior adviser and director of strategic initiatives at the U.S. Department of Energy and as a counselor to the Secretary and White House liaison at the U.S. Department of Labor.

More recently, he served as deputy assistant secretary for infrastructure, risk and resilience policy with the Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans at the Department of Homeland Security. He served under then-Acting Secretary Chad Wolf in former President Donald Trump’s administration, an organizational chart published on the DHS website shows.

While there, he led policy development “to protect U.S. critical infrastructure against cyber, physical, and natural threats while overseeing policy efforts to increase federal, state and local preparedness, response, and recovery capabilities,” according to a brief biography of Allende on the Center for Strategic & International Studies website that DeSantis’ office borrowed from for its press release.

Since September, Allende has been an appointed member of Florida’s Cybersecurity Advisory Council.

Allende replaces Department of Management Services Secretary J. Todd Inman, a former chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Transportation who has held the role since June 2021.

The job includes leading nearly 1,000 employees and steering a $910 million budget that manages more than $25 billion in annual contracts, disbursements and procurements. Management Services provides three primary areas of service: business, workforce and technology.

As outlined on the department’s website, its business operations branch is responsible for managing the primary back-office business operations of state government and key construction projects throughout the state.

Its workforce operations arm manages primary components of the state personnel system. The Florida Digital Service, also housed within the department, launched in 2020 to deliver improved government service and transparency to Floridians. It is also tasked with implementing DeSantis’ cloud-first policy initiative to transfer Florida’s aging legacy systems onto more technologically agile platforms resilient to cybersecurity threats.

The Governor’s office did not say what, if anything, is next for Inman, an insurance agent in private life whose previous political roles include campaign work for U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell in 2014 and service as a Kentucky delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention.

He was Department of Transportation chief of staff under McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, during the Trump administration.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


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