8 Things to Know About

California State Auditor Elaine Howle.

California State Auditor Elaine Howle started her career at the office in 1983 as a performance/policy evaluator. She worked her way up to be the organization's leader and has served as State Auditor for 20 years.


She didn't think she would be an auditor.

Elaine got her bachelor's degree in sports management and her master's in business administration. Like many people in our office, she never thought she would grow up to be an auditor. But after joining our office, she loved how challenging and important the work was. She rose through our leadership ranks before being appointed State Auditor in 2000.


Elaine has been appointed by three Governors from both major political parties.

Elaine was the first woman to be appointed State Auditor by Governor Gray Davis. She was reappointed by Governor Schwarzenegger and Governor Brown. Elaine is currently serving her fifth term—making her the longest serving State Auditor in California's history—a testament to her leadership and commitment to unbiased, non-partisan analysis.


Elaine listens to everyone's perspective.

Our staff meet with Elaine, our CEO, regularly. These meetings take place throughout the course of projects, giving Elaine and the staff an opportunity to get to know one another and share perspectives on important policy issues. This collaboration is critical because the insight of every member of our team is important in assembling the best reports and recommendations possible.


She is passionate about the work we do.

When asked what motivates her to continue to serve as State Auditor, Elaine emphasizes her belief in the office's mission and the great feeling of knowing the office's work makes a difference for Californians. Her passion is regularly on display when Elaine and her teams are down the street testifying before the Legislature about our work.


Elaine is a national leader in her profession.

The California State Auditor is the best in the business. Elaine has received three national awards for her leadership in government auditing. During her tenure, multiple reports have also been recognized nationally for excellence and impact. Other states and countries visit the office to learn about how we do our work so they can take their reports to the next level.


She was named Public Official of the Year.

In 2012, Governing magazine recognized eight people for fixing government across the U.S.A and one of them was Elaine Howle. In honoring Elaine as a Public Official of the Year, Governing noted that while other departments were facing cuts, the Legislature's regard for the California State Auditor was so high that it was expanding the office's responsibilities and increasing its budget.


Elaine sees our organization as a family.

Elaine believes that the people who work in our office are what makes it special. We are all connected by shared experiences that hold us together even when the work is tough. And we have fun together too! On occasion, we take a break to recognize each other's personal and professional accomplishments over coffee and donuts or a potluck spread.


Employee growth is how Elaine measures her success.

For Elaine, success isn't about titles, positions, or money. The most rewarding part of her job is seeing her team grow and develop. She enjoys supporting employees as they learn how to do the job, and being part of their excitement as they develop issues, solve problems, and watch the Legislature and the Governor implement our recommendations that improve the lives of Californians.