California State Controller
As State Controller, he presides over the Franchise Tax Board and is a member of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) Board and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) Board. These two funds have a combined portfolio of $300 billion. As one of California’s twelve constitutional officers, John is the highest-ranking Asian-American officeholder in the continental United States.
John brings extensive experience and fiscal leadership to the Office of the State Controller. He was first elected to the Board of Equalization in 1998. Since then, he has led with innovative and groundbreaking taxpayer-friendly services like the State’s free income tax return preparation service, ReadyReturn. As a member of the Board of Equalization, John represented 73 cities in Los Angeles County, including the City of Los Angeles. He was elected to his second four-year term in 2002. He has represented the Board of Equalization on the Franchise Tax Board and served as the chair of the Streamlined Sales Tax Project’s Board of Governors.
Strong in his belief that informed taxpayers make better decisions for the financial health of their families, businesses, and communities, John has sponsored innovative tax seminars to guide small businesses, non-profit organizations and religious institutions in understanding the state and federal tax codes. These programs provided access to information and services for those without the time, expertise, or resources to study the laws, rules, and regulations applicable to their circumstances.
He has also boosted small businesses by sponsoring events featuring experts from various government agencies to explain in clear and concise language compliance issues, the latest tax laws, policies, rules, and regulations. These seminars provide entrepreneurs with the tools to grow their businesses and prosper.
John has compiled an extraordinary record of public service going back decades. In recognition of his efforts, John has received numerous awards and distinctions such as the 2006 Award for Excellence by a Government Official from the Los Angeles County Bar Association, two Congressional Record tributes, the Leadership Vanguard Award from the Millennium Momentum Foundation, the Minorities in Business Magazine Multi-Cultural Prism Award, the City of West Hollywood Leadership and Service Award, and the Los Angeles Mayor’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Award.
John 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. He began his career as a Tax Law Specialist with the Internal Revenue Service and served as an attorney with the Office of the State Controller.