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 Californiaís bonds, invests the Stateís 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 Stateís 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 of service on the Board of Equalization (BOE). As Controller, she continues to serve the BOE as its fifth voting member. As the Stateís chief financial officer, Yee also chairs the Franchise Tax Board and serves as a member of the California Public Employeesí Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachersí Retirement System (CalSTRS) boards. These two boards have a combined portfolio of nearly $500 billion. She has more than 30 years of experience in public service, specializing in state and local finance and tax policy. Yee previously served as Chief Deputy Director for Budget with the California Department of Finance, where she led the development of the Governorís Budget, negotiations with the Legislature and key budget stakeholders, and fiscal analyses of legislation on behalf of the Administration. Prior to this, she served in senior staff positions for several fiscal and policy committees in both houses of the California State Legislature. Yee currently serves on the board of directors for the Cal Alumni Association at the University of California, Berkeley; California Women Lead; and the Equality California Institute. She was a co-founder of the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project, which exposes California high school youth to the public service, public policy, and political arenas. A native of San Francisco, Yee received her bachelorís degree in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and her masterís degree in Public Administration from Golden Gate University in San Francisco.

 
Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen
Director of Finance


Residence: Sacramento, California.
Background: Michael Cohen was appointed as Director of the California Department of Finance by Governor Jerry Brown in September 2013. He serves as the Governorís 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 departmentís lead contact with the state Legislature on the state budget. From 1997 to 2010, Mr. Cohen worked at the Legislative Analystís Office (LAO). While there, he served as a local government finance analyst, Director of State Administration, and Deputy Legislative Analyst. Mr. Cohen earned a Masterís Degree in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School at the University of Texas and a Bachelorís 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.