Master of Science in Taxation


John Balian, M.S. (Taxation), J.D.

Managing Partner, the Balian Law Group

Photo of John BalianProfessor Balian is an alumnus of the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics at California State University, Northridge. Prior to becoming an attorney, he was a revenue agent with the Los Angeles District of the IRS, where he conducted tax audits of corporations, trusts and individuals, generally focusing on understated income or overstated deductions. He has practiced law since 1993 and is currently the managing partner of the Balian Law Group, a tax and estate planning law firm in Encino, California. Professor Balian is a Certified Specialist in Taxation Law, certified by the Board of Legal Specialization of the California State Bar. His law firm represents clients in IRS audits/appeals and before the U.S. Tax Court, and advises clients on income, estate & gift tax issues. He received both his B.S. in Accounting and M.S. in Taxation degrees from CSUN and his J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law. He is the past chair of the California Society of CPAs Los Angeles Chapter's West Valley CPAs. Professor Balian teaches the Culminating Experience.

Rafi Efrat, CPA, J.D., J.S.M., J.S.D.

Director, M.S. in Taxation Program, Professor, Accounting and Information Systems

Photo of Rafi EfratDr. Efrat is an alumnus of the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics at CSUN, where he graduated with an accounting degree, magna cum laude. After becoming a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Illinois, Dr. Efrat obtained his law degree from the University of Southern California. He practiced law for five years, including a period of time at Ernst & Young tax practice. Dr. Efrat then became a Teaching Fellow at Stanford Law School, where he taught legal research and writing. He subsequently obtained a master's in law and a doctor of science of law degree from Stanford Law School. Dr. Efrat is the recipient of CSUN's Preeminent Publication Award, Visionary Community Service Learning Award, and the University's Outstanding Service Award. He joined the faculty of CSUN in 1999. He teaches Tax Research and Communication.

Sharyn M. Fisk, J.D., LL.M

Assistant Professor, Cal Poly Pomona

Photo of Sharyn M. FiskProfessor Fisk specializes in civil tax and criminal tax controversy. She earned her J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law—Newark and her LL.M. in taxation from New York University School of Law. She is also a certified specialist in taxation law, The State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization; a member of the executive committee for the Taxation Section, State Bar of California; secretary of the Taxation Procedure Committee of the Taxation Section, Los Angeles County Bar Association; and a member of the Standards of Tax Practice Committee of the Taxation Section, American Bar Association. She also coauthors a quarterly update on Important Civil Tax Controversy Developments for the ABA Section of Taxation. Professor Fisk is admitted to practice before the U.S. Tax Court, the U.S. District Court for the Central and Southern Districts of California, the U.S. Court of Claims, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She has also been an attorney-advisor for the Honorable Maurice B. Foley, United States Tax Court. She teaches Federal Tax Procedure.

Monica Gianni, JD, LLM, CPA

Assistant Professor, Department of Accounting and Information Systems

Photo of Monica GianniProfessor Gianni has over 35 years of professional experience in taxation in public accounting firms, law firms, government, and private practice. She advises clients on tax matters related to the formation, operation and reorganization of business entities; represents tax-exempt organizations such as public charities, private foundations, health care organizations, and social welfare organizations; and addresses legal and tax issues with U.S. clients doing business in foreign countries and foreign investors entering the U.S. market. She is a frequent speaker on subjects related to international tax, tax-exempt organizations, limited liability companies, and corporate taxation. Professor Gianni earned her JD from the University of Notre Dame and her LLM in Taxation from the University of Florida in 1995. She is a licensed CPA and licensed attorney. Previously she has taught at the University of Washington and at the University of Florida. She teaches the International Taxation, Corporate Taxation and Partnership Taxation courses.

Robert Johnson, CPA, M.S. (Taxation)

Tax Partner, KPMG LLP

Photo of Robert JohnsonProfessor Johnson is a Managing Director with KPMG's State and Local Tax (SALT) practice. He has more than 20 years of experience serving the state and local tax needs of a wide variety of clients, ranging from publicly held Fortune 500 companies to privately held emerging growth firms. He holds a master of science degree in taxation from Golden Gate University and a bachelor of science in accounting from California State University, San Bernardino. He teaches State and Local Taxes.

Rob Razani, CPA, M.S. (Taxation)

Subject Matter Expert – Corporate Distributions & Adjustments, Internal Revenue Service

Photo of Rob RazaniProfessor Razani has worked for the Internal Revenue Service as a Revenue Agent for over 23 years. He currently works as a subject matter expert in the Corporate Distributions and Adjustments Issue Practice Group, where he provides guidance to IRS internal stakeholders on corporate and M&A transactions. His experience with the IRS includes over 14 years as a Senior Team Coordinator in the Large Business and International (LB&I) Division of the IRS, coordinating the tax examination of some of the nation's largest multinational public corporations. Professor Razani has extensive experience conducting trainings within the IRS, as well as teaching CPA review courses. Professor Razani earned his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from San Diego State University and his Master of Science in Taxation from California State, Northridge. He teaches Income Tax Concepts and Their Business Application.

Karen Ritchie, CPA, MBT

Tax Principal, Hothouse Carline & Van Trigt, LLP

Photo of Karen RitchieProfessor Karen Ritchie is a tax principal at Hothouse Carlin & Van Trigt, LLP with over 25 years of experience providing tax consulting and compliance services to closely held private companies and high net-worth individuals. She has extensive experience addressing complex partnership taxation issues and primarily serves clients within the real estate industry. Professor Ritchie received a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in business administration, and a master’s in business taxation from the University of Southern California. Professor Ritchie is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of California and she is a member of the American Institute of Public Accountants and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants. Karen began her career at KPMG LLP. Professor Ritchie teaches Accounting Methods and Periods.

Jacob Stein, J.D., LL.M (Taxation)

Partner, Boldra, Klueger and Stein, LLP

Photo of Jacob SteinProfessor Stein is a partner with the law firm Boldra, Klueger and Stein, LLP. The firm's practice is limited to domestic and international tax planning, tax controversy and litigation, estate planning and asset protection. Professor Stein received his law degree from the University of Southern California and his master's of law in taxation from Georgetown University. He is a Certified Specialist, Taxation Law, from the State Bar of California, Board of Specialization and is admitted to practice law in California and before the Tax Court. Professor Stein is a frequent lecturer to various attorney and accountant professional groups and is an instructor with the California CPA Education Foundation. He is the past chair of the tax section of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association. He teaches the Contemporary Tax Planning Issues Seminar.

Frederick E. Wooldridge, CPA, J.D.

International Tax Partner, Ernst & Young, LLP

Photo of Frederick E. WooldridgeProfessor Wooldridge is an International Tax Partner in the Los Angeles office of Ernst & Young, LLP. He has more than 25 years of experience in providing international tax services to a wide range of public and privately held companies. As a full-time international tax consultant, Professor Wooldridge's primary responsibility is to help clients establish and operate their international activities in the most efficient manner from a worldwide tax and operational standpoint. Professor Wooldridge graduated from San Francisco State University (B.A. Economics) in 1978, and the University of Kansas School of Law (Juris Doctor) in 1981. He is a California CPA and member of the AICPA, and also is a member of the Los Angeles County (past Chairman, Foreign Tax Committee), California, Missouri and American Bar Associations. He is also a public speaker and author on various international tax topics. He teaches Taxation of Foreign Transactions and Taxpayers.

Advisory and Program Planning Board

Name Roles/Representing
John Balian Managing Partner, The Law Office of John Balian
Babken Basmadzhyan Managing Director-Sterling Accounting
Harvey Bookstein Partner, Armanino, LLP
James Chapman Director of Tax, World Disney
Brian Compton Co-Founder and C.E.O. Tax Defense Partners
Jim DeBree Partner, Deloitte, A Professional Corporation (Retired)
Keith Dolabson Partner, Gursey | Schneider LLP
Sharyn M. Fisk Assistant Professor, Cal Poly Pomona
Monica Gianni Assistant Professor, California State University, Northridge
Robert Grimes Partner, Ernst & Young, LLP
Dean Joaquin Partner, RSM US LLP
Robert Johnson Tax Partner, KPMG, LLP
Lucy Nalbandian Lecturer, California State University, Northridge
Charlie Osaki Principal, Squar Milner
Mrunal Patel Senior Manager, Moss Adams, LLP
Rob Razani Senior Team Coordinator, Internal Revenue Service
Karen Ritchie Tax Principal, Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt LLP
Shannon L. Roskowick Principal,Haskell & Davis
Robin N. Rousselet President and CEO of Rousselet Accountancy
Carl H. Sasaki Partner, BDO Seidman, LLP
Leslie S. Sobol Partner, Lucas, Horsfall, Murphy & Pindroh, LLP
Jacob Stein Partner, Klueger & Stein, LLP
Norm Tamkin Partner, Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt, LLP
Lior Temkin Partner, SingerLewak, LLP
Mark Tracht Territory Manager, Internal Revenue Service