Californians rely on high quality government services and we are here to ensure that State and local agencies deliver. As the State's independent watchdog, you can count on our teams to publish factual reports with insightful recommendations to improve government.
Elaine M. Howle, CPA
California State Auditor
Chief Deputy State Auditor, Audits
John oversees all performance evaluations and the implementation of the office's strategic plan.
John supports the State Auditor by helping performance evaluation teams strengthen their analytical approaches and by providing feedback on the content, clarity, and style of written reports. He is known for successfully mentoring staff and for his dedication to the office's continued success.
John first joined the office in 1983 as a performance/policy evaluator and worked at the office until it temporarily closed in 1992. John then worked at the Employee Development Department for 15 years in various management and executive positions. John came back to the office in 2007 to lead teams and was promoted to principal performance/policy evaluator. He retired in 2015 and came back to serve as Chief Deputy State Auditor of Audits in 2018.
John is an avid soccer fan who enjoys attending both college and professional matches and is looking forward to Sacramento competing in Major League Soccer and the National Women's Soccer League.
Chief of Public Affairs & Quality Assurance
Margarita is responsible for public relations and is the spokesperson for the office. She conducts interviews and deals with inquiries from the press, the public, and other governmental officials. She manages and oversees the development of external communication and outreach. When she's not talking about our work, Margarita ensures our office complies with professional standards. She is also the liaison with federal, state, and local government officials, standard setting bodies, and national professional organizations. She serves on the executive committee for the Western Intergovernmental Audit Forum and on various national committees with the National State Auditors Association.
Margarita began her career as an auditor in the office upon graduating from CSU Sacramento. She became a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Government Financial Manager and took on other roles in the office. Margarita loves to start each day with a good cup of coffee from one of her favorite local spots and when she travels, she loves a good cup of coffee from a local coffee roaster from there!
Deputy State Auditor
Financial Audits and
Mike Tilden oversees staff who conduct financial audits and performance/policy evaluations.
Mike started his career in the private sector before joining our team as a performance/policy evaluator in 1994. Since then he has advanced through our leadership roles and was promoted to Deputy State Auditor in 2018. Mike has worked on over 60 reports including the annual financial audit, local high-risk audits, and performance/policy evaluations spanning topics including workers compensation, California's foster care system, and the availability of water resources. Mike is also the architect of the California State Auditor's Local Government High-Risk Dashboard.
Mike grew up in California and enjoys exploring our Golden State while road tripping, camping, and hiking.
Deputy State Auditor
John Baier oversees staff who conduct performance/policy evaluations.
John started his career as a financial auditor in 1985. He went to work for CalTrans briefly in 1993 before returning to the office. He has since advanced through our leadership roles and was promoted to Deputy State Auditor in 2018. John has worked on over 90 reports spanning topics including the annual financial audit, California energy markets, technology projects, and the University of California. John attended the University of Oregon and his interests include hiking in the Sierra, military history, and following Oregon Ducks sports. John is a Certified Public Accountant.
Deputy State Auditor
Kathleen Harris oversees our business and financial services, graphic design, human resources, and information technology teams.
Kathleen started her career at the California State Auditor's office as a personnel specialist in 1997. She was promoted up the ranks to analyst, manager, and then Deputy State Auditor. She leads a dynamic team dedicated to supporting and improving the office's operations.
Kathleen likes to get away to the beach whenever she can and enjoys spending time with family, especially her first grandbaby, Robbie.