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Managing the World’s Sixth Largest Economy: Michael Cohen on State Budgets

Thursday, November 1, 2018 - 3:30pm
Landau Economics Building
Lucas Room A
579 Serra Mall
Stanford, CA 94305

If you want to learn about what it's like overseeing the largest state budget, this is the event to attend. Our special guest will discuss his experience as the Director of Finance for the Governor of California and how to apply analytical skills within government.

Snacks will be served to those who RSVP.



Michael Cohen

In August of 2018, Michael Cohen was named as the Chief Financial Officer of CalPERS, the California Public Employees' Retirement System. He oversees all financial systems and risk programs of the pension fund. The fund serves more than 1.9 million members in the CalPERS retirement system and administers benefits for more than 1.4 million members and their families in its health program, making it the largest defined-benefit public pension in the U.S.

Mr. Cohen was also appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to serve as a Regent of the University of California system. From 2013 to 2018, Michael Cohen served as California Director of Finance. In this capacity, he served as the Governor Brown’s chief fiscal policy advisor. Prior to becoming Director, he served as Chief Deputy Director of the Department of Finance from 2011 to 2013, serving as 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.

Event Sponsor: 
Haas Center for Public Service
Stanford Public Policy Program
Bill Lane Center for the American West