Malia M. Cohen serves as a Chair of the California State Board of Equalization (BOE), California’s elected tax commission. She was elected to the BOE in November 2018, served as Chair in 2019 and reelected Chair for 2022, and is the first African-American woman to serve on the Board.
As the BOE Board Member for District 2, she represents 10 million constituents living in all or parts of 23 counties extending from Del Norte County in the north to Santa Barbara County in the south. In January 2019, her BOE Board Member colleagues unanimously selected her to serve as Chair of the Board.
A strong advocate for social justice and inclusion, Board Chair Cohen pledges to ensure that the views of all who come before the Board of Equalization are considered carefully, with respect, civility, and courtesy. She further commits to collaborate with her colleagues to guarantee that all the actions of the BOE are open, transparent, and above reproach.
Prior to being elected to the Board of Equalization, Board Chair Cohen served as President of the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco. She was first elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2010 and re-elected in 2014.
As a Member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, she served as the Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee. As Finance Chair, she oversaw the adoption of an $11 billion budget, and measures concerning bond issues, taxes, fees, and redevelopment and real estate matters. She also served as a fiduciary member of the San Francisco Transportation Authority, which manages the proceeds of a half-cent sales tax that generates $100 million annually for transportation investments in the County.
Previously, she served as a Commissioner of the San Francisco Employee Retirement System (SFERS), which manages a $23 billion pension fund. As President of SFERS, she led efforts to divest from fossil fuels and thermal coal investments and moved $100 million into a fossil fuel-free index fund.
Throughout her life, Board Chair Cohen has fought for diversity and inclusion. She has championed policies and programs that protect public health, foster economic development, promote new affordable housing, and that create good jobs through protecting and expanding our manufacturing base.
Board Chair Cohen was born and raised in San Francisco. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Fisk University, a historically Black university in Nashville, Tennessee, and a Masters in Science in Public Policy & Management from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.