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Board Members

Taxpayers in California elect two of the three members that makeup the Franchise Tax Board.

The board is consists of:


Betty T. Yee

State Controller
Chair, Franchise Tax Board

State Controller Betty T. Yee was elected in November 2014, following two terms of service on the California Board of Equalization.  As Controller, she continues to serve the Board as its fifth voting member.

Ms. Yee was first elected to the Board of Equalization in 2006 where she represented 21 counties in northern and central California.  She was elected to her second four-year term in 2010.

Now serving as the state’s chief fiscal officer, Ms. 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.  Ms. Yee also serves on the Ceres Board of Directors, a nonprofit organization working to mobilize many of the world’s largest investors to advance global sustainability and take stronger action on climate change.

Ms. 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 chairperson in even-numbered years), she helps provide stewardship of public-trust lands, waterways, industrial wharves, marine terminals, pipelines, and resources through economic development, protection, preservation, and restoration consistent with the state’s environmental needs.  The development and extraction of oil, gas, and geothermal resources are part of the Commission’s purview, as well.  Through other financing authorities, Ms. Yee is dedicated to creating incentives that will increase the number of affordable housing units in California, given that demand consistently outpaces supply.

Ms. Yee has over 30 years of experience in public service, specializing in state and local finance and tax policy.  Ms. 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.  She also cofounded 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, Ms. Yee received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and she holds a master’s degree in public administration.

For more information about the State Controller’s Office, please visit their website.


Diane L. Harkey

Chairwoman, Board of Equalization

Elected in November 2014, Diane L. Harkey represents over 9.5 million residents, or 25% of the state that comprises the Fourth Board of Equalization District. Ms. Harkey served in the California State Assembly from 2008 to 2014, where she was Vice Chair of the Committees on Appropriations and Revenue and Taxation. While in the Assembly, Ms. Harkey focused on fiscal responsibility, regulatory reform, and job creation.

Harkey graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Economics from the University of California, Irvine and enjoyed a successful 30-year career in corporate finance and banking.

For more information about the State Board of Equalization, please visit their website.


Michael Cohen

Director of Finance

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.

For more information about the Department of Finance, please visit their website.

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