CPF Former Fellow John Chiang Headshot
Center for the Political Future

Fall 2020 Fellow

From 2015 until 2019, John Chiang served as California’s 33rd State Treasurer. As the state’s banker, he oversaw trillions of dollars in annual transactions, managed a $75 billion investment portfolio, and was the nation’s largest issuer of municipal bonds.

Prior to being elected Treasurer, Chiang served as State Controller from 2007 through 2014. During the Great Recession, he took steps to preserve cash to meet obligations to education and bond holders. His cash management decisions were instrumental in keeping the state’s credit rating from plunging into junk status, and his actions saved taxpayers millions of dollars. Additionally, Chiang aggressively used his audit programs to identify more than $9.5 billion of fraud, waste and abuse in government programs, the most by any Controller in California’s history. In 1998, he was elected to California’s Board of Equalization and served two terms, including three years as chair. John also served as an Aspen Institute Rodel Fellow and Hunt-Kean Fellow.

John currently is a member of the board of directors of Apollo Medical Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMEH), Aegis Systems and Zeuss Technologies. In addition, he serves on the advisory boards of Pasadena Private Finance and Calyx Peak.

Course: From Financial Crisis to COVID-19: California Policy Responses to the Financial Fallout

In 2007 and 2008, The Financial Crisis hit California hard and policymakers across the country were tested. With the coronavirus acting as a drag on the economy, policymakers once again faced a crisis that pushed their tools to the edge. In between both of these major events, issues like homelessness and climate change grew more challenging and state leaders faced these issues with everything at their disposal. In this course, students learned about each and every one of these events from a former California state official.

This course examined California’s economy and state finances from the Financial Crisis of 2008-09 to the COVID-19 pandemic. An intensive focus on how state policymakers addressed major policy areas from the downturn to recovery to dive was highlighted. The course was discussion-based featuring guest speakers who are subject matter experts.


Fall 2020 Semester Recap

See what Fall 2020 Fellow John Chiang said about his experience at USC’s Center for the Political Future in this video highlight.

John shared his thoughts on the importance of politics, his first political experience, and his advice for having respectful political discourse in his “Quick Takes: Q&A with CPF Fellow John Chiang” video.