California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission

Commission Overview

The California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission was created by the California Legislature to assist state and local agencies with the issuance, monitoring, and management of public debt and the investment of public funds through its research and technical assistance programs. CDIAC also acts as the State's clearinghouse for public debt issuance information.

Commission Members

Fiona Ma

Fiona Ma, CPA
State Treasurer


Background: Ms. Fiona Ma was elected California State Treasurer in November 2018. She previously served as Chair and Vice Chair of the California State Board of Equalization from 2015 to 2019, representing more than nine million taxpayers. There, she led historic reforms to increase efficiency and transparency at the agency. As a state legislator, she was the first and only Asian-American woman ever elected California Assembly Speaker pro Tempore, the second-highest ranking office in the Assembly. During her time as a legislator, she passed landmark legislation to ban toxic chemicals in children’s toys, protect small business-owners and expand opportunities for homeowners. She previously served as a San Francisco Supervisor.

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Gavin Newsom

Gavin Newsom
Governor

Background: Gavin Newson is the former Lieutenant Governor of California and the former Mayor of San Francisco, California.
Newsom is widely recognized for his willingness to lead – repeatedly developing, advocating, and implementing innovative and groundbreaking solutions to some of our most challenging issues. On a wide range of topics including same-sex marriage, gun safety, marijuana, the death penalty, universal health care, access to preschool, technology, criminal justice reform, and the minimum wage, Newsom stuck his neck out and did the right thing, which often led to sweeping changes when his policies were ultimately accepted, embraced, and replicated across the state and nation.

Newsom’s top priorities for his administration are tackling our state’s affordability crisis, creating inclusive economic growth and opportunity for every child, and standing up for California values — from civil rights, to immigration, environmental protection, access to quality schools at all levels, and justice.

Governor Newsom is married to Jennifer Siebel Newsom. They have four children: Montana, Hunter, Brooklynn, and Dutch.

 
Malia Cohen

Malia M. Cohen
State Controller

State Controller Malia M. Cohen was elected in November 2022, following her service on the California State Board of Equalization (BOE), the nation’s only elected tax commission responsible for administering California’s $100 billion property tax system. She was elected to the BOE in November 2018 and was Chair in 2019 and 2022. As Controller, she continues to serve the Board as its fifth voting member.

As chief fiscal officer of the world’s fifth-largest economy, Controller Cohen’s primary responsibility is to account for and protect the state‘s financial resources. Controller Cohen also independently audits government agencies that spend state funds, safeguards many types of property until claimed by the rightful owners, and administers the payroll system for state government employees and California State University employees. She serves on 70 boards and commissions with authority ranging from affordable housing to crime victim compensation to land management.

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Sabrina Cervantes

Sabrina Cervantes
Assemblymember, 60th District


Background: Sabrina Cervantes was elected in November 2016 to represent California’s 60th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Corona, Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Norco, and Riverside. A committed public servant, Sabrina Cervantes has demonstrated a history of civic engagement to enhance the communities and lives of all Riverside residents. As a lifelong Riverside County resident herself, she has been a strong advocate for families in the Inland Empire. As a former District Director for the Assembly she worked alongside community organizations to enhance the local economy, broaden access to higher education, and improve the access to governmental services for the residents of Riverside. Her extensive knowledge in the Riverside community has aided her in understanding the critical elements that residents need to be successful.

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Cottie Petrie-Norris

Cottie Petrie-Norris
Assemblymember, 74th District


Background: Cottie Petrie-Norris represents California’s 74th Assembly District – Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, Newport Beach, and portions of Irvine & Huntington Beach. Cottie Petrie-Norris is a businesswoman and community leader who was elected to the State Assembly in 2018. In her first term, Cottie has secured millions of dollars in funding for projects in our district and introduced important legislation to combat sea level rise, improve services for veterans and help small businesses.

Cottie serves as Chair of Assembly’s Accountability and Administrative Review Committee and as Chair of the Select Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. She also serves on the Assembly’s committees for Banking & Finance; Revenue & Taxation; Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy and Veterans Affairs.

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Steven Bradford

Steven Bradford
Senator, 35th District

Background: Steven Bradford brings a lifetime of experience to the California State Senate. In over two decades of public service – first as a Gardena City Councilmember, then as a State Assemblymember and now as a State Senator - Bradford has proven himself to be an unwavering citizen activist. He views himself as a public servant and not a politician. Public service was instilled in him by his parents who taught him the value of giving back to the community.

Prior to his service in local and state government, Bradford was a Public Affairs Manager for Southern California Edison, District Director for the late Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald, Program Director for the LA Conservation Corps, and worked for seven years as a marketing and sales representative for International Business Machines Corporation (IBM).

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Patricia C. Bates

Patricia C. Bates
Senator, 36th District

Background: My name is Patricia C. Bates, but I am better known as “Pat.” It is an honor to serve as the senator for the 36th District in the California State Senate since December 1, 2014, representing 1 million people living in South Orange and North San Diego counties. Elected public service was not something I sought growing up. It came gradually when I became a wife, mother, and community volunteer. After graduating from Occidental College with a degree in psychology, I took a job as a social worker for Los Angeles County, where I helped some of our most vulnerable neighbors get back on their feet.

In addition to my work representing the 36th Senate District, I also serve as the Senate Republican Leader Emeritus, where I work with Senate leadership to help the institution run smoothly. I served as the Senate Republican Leader from April 2017 to March 2019, becoming only the second woman to lead a party caucus in the Senate’s history. As Leader, I ensured that all voices across the political spectrum were heard in the Senate and worked with Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins to improve the process to report sexual harassment and holding offenders to account.

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Sandie Arnott

Sandie Arnott
Treasurer-Tax Collector, County of San Mateo


Background: Sandie Arnott is the first woman elected to the position of Treasurer Tax Collector of San Mateo County. She was first elected in November, 2010 and re-elected in June, 2014 & 2018. She is responsible for oversight of 40 staff members. She was initially employed by the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s office in 1989 and served as Deputy Treasurer-Tax Collector since 2002.

Since her election, Ms. Arnott's priorities have been focused on improving payment processes, making them more efficient and Green. She opened remote tax collection locations in South San Francisco and Half Moon Bay and provides mailbox drop-off service during peak tax collection periods (for which she received a County STARS award in 2019). Live chat website assistance (for which she received a County STARS award for customer service in 2013) and online property auctions were introduced in 2011. E billing of property tax bills went live in fiscal year 2015-16 and a new IVR (interactive voice response) telephone answering service went live in August, 2018. She is a staunch supporter of the Senior Citizens and Disabled Property Tax Postponement Program which was reinstated in 2014 and went live in 2016. Ms. Arnott authored AB2738 which was adopted by Assemblywoman Kristen Olsen and signed into law by the Governor on 9/22/16. This new law, effective 1/1/17, dis-allows school districts and community college districts from claiming bond proceeds as surplus funds and withdrawing them from the County treasury for investing by a school or community college district. This law protects taxpayer dollars by ensuring they remain in the treasury and are withdrawn solely for the projects stated within the bond measure presented to voters. Ms. Arnott is currently in the process of implementing a new property tax system (TaxSys) by the Grant Street Group and is the first county in California to implement their system. The go-live date is set for July, 2019.

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Lakshmi Kommi

Nikolai Sklaroff
Capital Finance Director, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission


Nikolai J. Sklaroff joined the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) as its Capital Finance Director in May 2022. As Capital Finance Director, he is responsible for developing, implementing and administering the SFPUC Capital Financing activities across the agency. He leads a team of professionals supporting the agency's capital project funding activities including financing transactions, banking agreements, commercial paper program activities, credit rating activities and debt administration, among others. The role serves in a key leadership function at the SFPUC. The Capital Finance Director manages the day-to-day operations of the SFPUC’s $6+ billion outstanding debt portfolio and the daily operations of the SFPUC’s $1.5 billion Commercial Paper Program across three enterprises, Water, Wastewater and Power.

Nikolai has spent more than three decades in the public finance industry and most recently served as the Deputy Director of Finance responsible for the Debt & Treasury Management division in the City of San José. In that role he oversaw teams managing the City’s $4.6 billion debt portfolio across all enterprises, managing the City’s $2.4 billion investment portfolio and managing the City’s banking operations. Nikolai has also spent 22 years as a senior public finance investment banker in San Francisco with Citigroup Global Markets, J. P. Morgan Securities - where he was national Head of Cultural Institutions investment banking - and Wells Fargo Securities. Prior to becoming an investment banker in 1997, Nikolai was a senior Moody’s Investors Service rating agency analyst and member of Moody's rating committee. Nikolai began his career as a financial advisor with Public Financial Management, Inc. in his hometown of Philadelphia, where he received his degrees from the Wharton School and the College of Arts and Sciences of the University of Pennsylvania, prior to moving to England (to live in a castle) to pursue his graduate degree. He pursued further graduate studies at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs prior to moving to San Francisco.

A frequent speaker at industry conferences and author on public finance topics, Nikolai has also served on multiple boards of directors and advisory committees. Nikolai is currently serving on the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Debt Committee. As a former California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission (CDIAC) Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) member, Nikolai continues to enjoy assisting CDIAC with policy publications and seminars.