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 T. Yee
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 State's chief financial officer, Yee also chairs the Franchise Tax Board and serves as a member of the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers' 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 Governor's 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 bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and her master's degree in Public Administration from Golden Gate University in San Francisco.
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 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.
Edward J. De La Rosa
Appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules
Residence: Los Angeles
Background: Edward J. De La Rosa established De La Rosa & Co. in 1989 to provide capital for public and private infrastructure projects across California. In slightly more than two decades, the firm grew to become a leading underwriter and market maker for California municipal bonds and taxable fixed-income securities. Mr. De La Rosa currently serves as a Board Member of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB). Mr. De La Rosa previously served two terms on the Professional Qualifications Advisory Committee of the MSRB, where he set professional standards for investment bankers and bond brokers financing public and private projects. Mr. De La Rosa holds a Master's degree in Management from Yale University and a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego. In 2004, Mr. De La Rosa was awarded the Dean's Alumni Achievement Award from the Yale School of Management. Mr. De La Rosa currently serves as a member of the Dean's Board of Advisors for Yale University's School of Management.
Yvonne R. Walker
Appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly
Residence: Elk Grove
Background: Yvonne R. Walker serves as president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1000, California's largest state employee union representing about 95,000 employees from a wide range of professions serving the state of California. Walker is also chair of the Retirement Security Committee of the SEIU Executive Board, where she has developed policies to ensure a secure retirement for all workers - union and non-union. In February 2013, she was appointed to the newly created California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Investment Board (CalSavers) by state Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez. Walker was elected president of SEIU Local 1000 in 2008 and was reelected in 2011. Prior to that, she served as Local 1000's vice president of bargaining.
Appointed by the Governor
Background: Mr. Sokol is a senior partner with Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld, where he has practiced since 1976. Mr. Sokol represents numerous retirement, as well as health and welfare, benefit funds in both the public and private sectors, in numerous industries, including the building trades, transportation, health care, manufacturing, retail and service sectors. Mr. Sokol writes and lectures widely on pension matters and health care issues. Mr. Sokol has been a lecturer at San Francisco State University’s School of Business Administration for the past 15 years, and also represents numerous non-profit corporations. Mr. Sokol was a radio newscaster and talk show host for 25 years.
Appointed by the Governor
Background: Heather Hooper is the Vice President of Retirement Strategies at Loring Ward. In this role Ms. Hooper heads up the company's ERISA 3(38) retirement plan division working with independent advisors and their employer clients to offer a wide range of retirement plan solutions, including 401(k), 403(b), 457(b), Profit Sharing, Defined Benefit and combination plans. Ms. Hooper also serves on the 401(k) committee for the firm's retirement plan. Prior to joining Loring Ward, Ms. Hooper was the Chief Operating Officer for NextStep Defined Contribution, Inc. a recordkeeping and administration firm. In this role Ms. Hooper oversaw the human capital needs of the organization and managed the day-to-day responsibilities associated with NextStep's retirement plan operations, relationship management, IT and plan administration functions. Also a former Human Resources executive, Ms. Hooper has seen each side of retirement plan management-including service provider management, plan audits, design, administration and participation. Ms. Hooper has over 15 years of corporate experience in a variety of fields including compliance, HR, operations, real estate, immigration and employment law. Ms. Hooper holds her Series 65 investment advisor securities license.
Appointed by the Governor
Background: Purcell was a director in the Public Employee Department at the Laborers’ International Union of North America from 1997 to 2012, a political organizer for the California Democratic Party from 1988 to 1989 and a political director at Neighbor-to-Neighbor from 1986 to 1988. He was in-house counsel at Unite Here Local 2 from 1984 to 1986 and a legal advisor at the California Public Employment Relations Board from 1982 to 1984. Purcell was a staff analyst at Cal/OSHA from 1977 to 1979 and an organizer at the United Farm Workers of America from 1971 to 1976. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Davis School of Law. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation.
Appointed by the Governor
Background: Westerlund has been chief executive officer and founder at the Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation since 2004. She was an executive assistant to the consul of Mexico at the Consulate of Mexico in Fresno from 1997 to 2001. She is a member of the 21st District Agricultural Association, Big Fresno Fair Board of Directors, California State University, Fresno Foundation Board of Governors and the Saint Agnes Medical Center Board. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation.