Thank you to my fellow Board members for the gracious welcome. It is my great honor to join this Board.
I would like to begin by thanking the PCAOB office and division leaders who assisted me with my transition. Although it has been just over two weeks since I started, your support with my onboarding has been invaluable. Indeed, some may think that joining an organization and voting on its future operations so soon is not ideal; however, this has actually been an opportune time to join. I am grateful to the staff who provided me a comprehensive understanding of their divisions and offices, which has been extremely beneficial as I evaluated the five-year strategic plan and associated budget before us today.
I am also thankful that the first vote I cast as a member of the PCAOB is in support of its budget—so that the organization has the resources necessary to carry out its critical mission—and the five-year strategic plan.
In regards to our budget, I believe we have taken a thorough approach to evaluating the resources necessary to continue on our transformation journey. I believe the needs identified in our budget will provide us with the ability to continue to change while maintaining our focus on our mission to protect investors and further the public interest in the preparation of informative, accurate, and independent audit reports.
I have heard about the significant progress that has been made to the organization since the prior strategic plan was unveiled. I appreciate the staff's dedication and commitment to the various transformation projects that are underway and I'm eager to be a part of those efforts as we continue on our journey.
On a personal note, prior to joining the PCAOB, I spent much of my career as a capital markets regulator, and in the development of policy directly related to maintaining the integrity of the U.S. capital markets. If we want to enable investors to save for college and retirement through our capital markets, investors must be able to trust the information that is provided to them is accurate. That is why the mission of the PCAOB is so important.
In closing, I would like to thank the staff in our Office of Administration for bringing this budget forward and all PCAOB employees for your dedication to our transformation and our mission. I would also like to thank the SEC staff for their efforts on this budget. I approve its submission to the SEC along with our five-year strategic plan.