California Industrial Development Financing Advisory Commission

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.

 
Kish Rajan

Panorea Avdis
Chief Deputy Director of the Governorís Office of Business and Economic Development


Panorea Avdis serves as the Director of the Governorís Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), the stateís lead entity for economic development and job creation efforts. Appointed by Governor Brown in 2012, Director Avdis has been instrumental in the restructure of Californiaís economic development office. Director Avdisí role entails direct oversight of some of the stateís key economic development programs including the Infrastructure and Economic Development (I-Bank), the California Film Commission, the California Commission of Travel and Tourism and the California Competes Tax Credit Ė which will grant $780 million in tax credits to expanding California companies over the next five years. Prior to her most recent appointment, Director Avdis served as the Chief Deputy Director for GO-Biz, Chief of Staff in the Office of Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna, Director of External Affairs at the California Department of Housing and Community Development under Governor Schwarzenegger. She also served in several positions in the Office of Governor Gray Davis including advance staff and special assistant to the Governor. In addition to her public sector work, she spent several years in the private sector as a project manager and advisor to the Chairman of AKT Development; a major land development company based in Northern California. Director Avdis Chairs the I-Bank Board and the CA Competes Tax Credit Committee and serves on the California Employment Training Panel, Green Collar Jobs Council, California Industrial Development Financing Advisory Commission, Economic Recovery Financing Committee and the California Association for Local Economic Development (CalED) Advisory Committee. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the California State University, Sacramento Hellenic Outreach Program, the Tsakopoulos Hellenic Foundation, Music on a Mission, Angelic LLC, and serves as the custodian of archives for Governor Gray Davis. She is a native Sacramentan, daughter of Greek immigrants, and a graduate of University of California (UC) Davis.

 
Jan Lynn Owen

Jan Lynn Owen
Commissioner of the Department of Business Oversight

Jan Lynn Owen is the Commissioner of the Department of Business Oversight, appointed by Governor Jerry Brown. On July 1, 2013, the Department of Business Oversight was formed through the consolidation of the Department of Financial Institutions and the Department of Corporations, where Owen was Commissioner. Previously, Owen served as strategic initiatives manager at Apple Inc., Vice President of governmental affairs at JP Morgan Chase, Vice President of Washington Mutual Bank, and Executive Director of the California Mortgage Bankers Association. Owen also served as Acting Commissioner of the Department of Financial Institutions, after serving as Deputy Commissioner, and as a consultant to the California State Senate Banking Committee.