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June 5, 2018 — California Primary Election

Santa Barbara CountyCandidate for Auditor/Controller

Photo of Jennifer Christensen

Jennifer Christensen

Santa Barbara County Investment Chief
32,837 votes (42.27%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Provide strong fiscal management and restore internal controls to safeguard taxpayer dollars.
  • Strengthen our essential services and provide integrity and accountability in our government.
  • Ensure the Auditor-Controller’s office operates with the highest ethical standards.



Profession:Santa Barbara County Chief Investment Officer
Commissioner, City of Santa Barbara Fire and Police Commission — Appointed position (2010–current)


GFOA Certified Public Finance Officer (CPFO), Budget, Financial Reporting, Debt Administration and Risk (current)
Fixed Income Academy Certified Fixed Income Professional (CFIP), Public Funds Investing (current)
University of Southern California, Los Angeles Juris Doctorate, Emphasis in Business Law (2000)
University of Southern California, Los Angeles Masters of Business Administration, Emphasis in Finance (2000)
University of California, Los Angeles Bachelor of Arts, History (1994)

Community Activities

Commissioner, City of Santa Barbara Fire and Police Commission (2010–current)


Jennifer Christensen is currently the Chief Investment Officer for Santa Barbara County, managing a $1.6 billion portfolio for the county, public schools and special districts. In this capacity, Jennifer develops and executes financial and risk management strategies. She is a highly regarded and proven public finance professional.

A fifth generation Californian, Jennifer earned her BA from UCLA, and her Juris Doctorate and MBA from USC. She began her career in public service with the Office of County Counsel as a municipal finance attorney, providing legal support to the Board of Supervisors as well as most county departments including Auditor-Controller, Public Works, Sheriff, General Services and the Clerk-Recorder-Assessor.

She served as the attorney for the Auditor-Controller for the first five years of her career, and for an additional six years as a Division Chief for the County Auditor-Controller overseeing a $1 billion county budget, financial reporting and financial accounting. She’s managed high profile county projects pertaining to land use and housing. In fact, there is not a single aspect of governance that Jennifer has not touched in over a decade and a half with the county. She understands how the county works, knows its budget, how it’s financed, where the money is, and how years of decisions at the county have contributed to wasteful spending and accumulated liabilities.

Also serving the Santa Barbara County Employees’ Retirement System as an alternate member of the board, Jennifer’s expertise in law and public pension funding equip her uniquely to confront and address the critical issue of pension sustainability.

Jennifer is running for Auditor-Controller to bring a pragmatic and independent voice to the policy-making process and restore fiscal discipline to the county budget and financial planning process. She is committed to managing the county strategically, building and safeguarding our reserves, supporting economic vitality consistent with Santa Barbara’s values, and protecting our environment and natural resources as well as our social safety net.

Jennifer is 45 years old and has been married to a Santa Barbara native and retired deputy sheriff for 12 years. They live in Santa Barbara.

Who supports this candidate?

Elected Officials (5)

  • Harry Hagen, Treasurer-Tax Collector-Public Administrator
  • Bernice James, Treasurer-Tax Collector-Public Administrator (retired)
  • Gary Feramisco, Treasurer-Tax Collector-Public Administrator (retired)
  • Richard Riordan, Former Mayor of the City of Los Angeles
  • Helene Schneider, Former Mayor of the City of Santa Barbara

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