California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority

Members of the Authority

John Chiang

John Chiang
State Treasurer


Residence: Torrance, California.
Background: Mr. Chiang graduated with honors from the University of South Florida with a degree in Finance, and received his law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center. As State Treasurer, he oversees a bank that processes trillions of dollars in transactions every year. He sells California’s bonds, invests the State’s money and manages its cash. Prior to being elected Treasurer, he served from 2007 through 2014 as State Controller. In that office, he took steps during the Great Recession to preserve cash to meet obligations to education and bond holders, worked to ensure the fiscal solvency of the State’s pension plans, and ensured that $3.1 billion in unclaimed property was returned to the rightful owners. Prior to serving as Controller, he was elected to the Board of Equalization in 1998, where he led with innovative taxpayer-friendly services such as the State's free income tax return preparation service, ReadyReturn.

 
Betty Yee

Betty T. Yee
State Controller

Residence: Alameda, California
Background: Betty T. Yee was elected Controller in November 2014, following two terms on the California Board of Equalization (BOE). As the state’s chief fiscal officer, Yee chairs the Franchise Tax Board and serves as a member of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System boards, and she continues to serve BOE as its fifth voting member. Yee also serves on the board of Ceres, a nonprofit working to mobilize large investors to advance global sustainability and take stronger action on climate change. Yee serves on dozens of boards and commissions with authority ranging from land management to crime victim compensation. As a member of the State Lands Commission (and chair in even-numbered years), she helps steward public trust lands, waterways, wharves, and resources—including oil, gas, and geothermal—through economic development, protection, and restoration consistent with environmental needs.  Through financing authorities, Yee works to create incentives to increase affordable housing in California.  Controller Yee has over 30 years’ experience in public service, state and local finance, and tax policy. As Chief Deputy Director for Budget with the California Department of Finance, she led development of the Governor’s Budget. Prior to this, she served fiscal and policy committees in both houses of the California Legislature.  She cofounded the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project, which exposes California high school youth to public policy and public service. A native of San Francisco, Yee received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and holds a master’s degree in public administration.

 
Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen
Director of Finance


Background: Michael Cohen was appointed as Director of the California Department of Finance by Governor Jerry Brown in September 2013. He serves as the Governor’s chief fiscal policy advisor. Prior to becoming Director, he served as Chief Deputy Director of the Department of Finance from 2011 to 2013. In this capacity, Mr. Cohen was the department’s lead contact with the state Legislature on the state budget. From 1997 to 2010, Mr. Cohen worked at the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO). While there, he served as a local government finance analyst, Director of State Administration, and Deputy Legislative Analyst. Mr. Cohen earned a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School at the University of Texas and a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Studies from Stanford University. He lives in Sacramento with his wife Amy Supinger and his two dogs, Lulu and Dexter.

 
Karen Douglas

Dr. Robert Weisenmiller
Chairperson of the Energy Commission


Dr. Robert Weisenmiller was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown in January 2011. He fills the Engineer/Scientist position on the five-member Commission where four of the five members by law are required to have professional training in specific areas - engineering or physical science, environmental protection, economics, and law. Commissioner Weisenmiller brings more than 30 years energy experience to the Commission including expertise in electricity and gas markets and California regulatory policies. Dr. Weisenmiller has served as an expert witness in more than 100 state and federal regulatory commission proceedings and has authored numerous publications on electricity and natural gas markets. Before his appointment, Dr. Weisenmiller, a co-founder of MRW & Associates, used his expertise to assist businesses, financial institutions, regulatory commissions, and public agencies in strategic planning, policy development, analyzing energy markets and regulations, power pricing for qualifying facility projects, marginal cost analysis, rate design and implications of utility mergers. Commissioner Weisenmiller was also the co-founder and Executive Vice President of Independent Power Corporation. Dr. Weisenmiller's career also included public service with the Energy Commission as Advisor to Commissioner, Manager of the Special Projects Office, and Director of the Office of Policy and Program Evaluation in the period between 1977 and 1982. Commissioner Weisenmiller holds a Doctorate in Chemistry and a Masters in Energy and Resources from University of California Berkeley and received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Providence College.

 
Michael Picker

Michael Picker
President of the Public Utilities Commission


Michael Picker was named President of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on December 23, 2014, by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., who first appointed President Picker as a Commissioner on January 29, 2014. Prior to his appointment, President Picker was Senior Advisor for Renewable Energy in the Office of the Governor from 2009 to 2014. He was a principal at Lincoln Crow Strategic Communications from 2000 to 2009, Deputy Treasurer in the Office of the California State Treasurer from 1998 to 1999, Chief of Staff to Sacramento Mayor Joe Serna Jr. from 1992 to 1999, and Deputy Assistant for toxic substance control in the Office of the Governor from 1981 to 1982. He was a member of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District Board of Directors from 2012-2014.  President Picker is a former lecturer at UCLA’s Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning, and instructor at Occidental College’s Urban and Environmental Policies Institute. He holds an MBA from UC Davis, specializing in marketing, social marketing, and nonprofit management.