Robert B. Carleson (1931 2006) was the principal architect of true welfare reform. In 1968, Carleson joined the administration of Governor Ronald Reagan as Chief Deputy Director of the California State Department of Public Works. He was the main author of Governor Reagan s successful welfare-reform initiative. Then, as director of the California State Department of Social Welfare in the early 1970s, Carleson implemented the new reform.For the first time since World War II, California s welfare rolls began to decline. In 1973, Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Casper Weinberger tasked Carleson with bringing welfare reform to the other states. For the first time since World War II, welfare rolls declined nationally.In 1981, Carleson joined Reagan s White House staff as Special Assistant to the President for Policy Development. In that role he served as a special advisor for federalism policy and was the Executive Secretary of the Cabinet Council on Human Resources. He was the author of the Reagan welfare reforms contained in the 1981 Budget Reconciliation Act and was instrumental in the design of the welfare reform signed into law by President Clinton in 1996.In 1998, Carleson founded the American Civil Rights Union (ACRU) to promote the civil rights of all Americans. Through its legal and public advocacy, the ACRU defends a constitutional understanding of civil rights."