Rebecca Otto was elected Minnesota's 18th State Auditor in 2006 after receiving the endorsement of three previous State Auditors from both major political parties. She is the first woman Democrat to be elected to the post. State Auditor Otto was re-elected to a second four-year term in 2010.
Public service is important to State Auditor Otto, who was elected to the Auditor's post after service in state and local governments. She served on the Forest Lake school board and on the district's ad-hoc finance committee.
As a state representative from the Stillwater area she served on the House Local Government, Environment, and Agricultural Policy and Finance committees. In 2003, then-Representative Otto united legislators of both major parties in her effort calling for a truly balanced state budget. This helped earn her the prestigious New Legislator of the Year Award.
State Auditor Otto holds a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. in Biology from Macalester College. She taught public school seventh-grade science for five years. A successful businesswoman, Otto left a career as president of a 50-employee business she had helped found to devote her time to public service and give back to the community.
She has served on several boards and committees and has been an active volunteer for a number of organizations, including Warner Nature Center and Big Brother/Big Sister.
She lives with her husband, screenwriter Shawn Lawrence Otto, and their son in a wind-powered, passive solar home they designed and built with their own hands.
Honors and Certifications
State Auditor Otto is immediate past president of the National State Auditors Association (NSAA). She is also the Chair of the Human Resources Committee for NSAA and serves on the Executive Committee of the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers.
In 2014 State Auditor Otto was named one of the Most Influential Professionals in Government Auditing by the American Center for Government Auditing (ACGA). The ACGA was established by The Institute of Internal Auditors to advance the professional practice of government auditing by advocating its value through timely and relevant thought leadership, communication, collaboration and education.
State Auditor Otto serves as Chair of the Collaborative Governance Council, which looks for more ways government can collaborate, cooperate, and innovate. She also serves on the Council on Local Results and Innovation, which has developed performance benchmarks and a performance benchmark system for cities and counties to adopt.
State Auditor Otto has earned, for continuing education of public pension plans, a Certificate of Achievement in Pension Trustee Continuing Education from the NCPERS and a Certificate of Achievement in Public Plan Policy/Employee Pensions from the IFEBP.
In 2009 the National State Auditors Association (NSAA) awarded State Auditor Otto its prestigious Excellence in Accountability Award for the Best Practices Review: Reducing Energy Costs in Local Government.
In June of 2011 the League of Minnesota Cities awarded her the LMC President's Award, citing her "unwavering support of Minnesota local government in enhancing effectiveness, efficiency and accountability for all Minnesotans."