WASHINGTON, DC - Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi today announced his new top management team for the District of Columbia Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO). Gandhi has testified that his key objective is to produce an unqualified audit opinion, on time, and a balanced budget, prerequisites for a FY 2001 transition from the control period to home rule. Gandhi conducted a management review of his current organization and key personnel and concluded changes were needed to put in place a leadership cadre that has the executive focus, sense of teamwork, and necessary skills to deliver on this objective, which is central to the future of the District.
Herbert Huff has been appointed Deputy Chief Financial Officer for Tax and Revenue. Huff has served as the Director of Operations for Tax and Revenue, essentially its chief operating officer, since March 1998. Huff was instrumental in implementing business improvements at the city's tax office including expanding its customer service capability; doubling collection of delinquent taxes; processing tax refunds in fifteen days or less; and placing tax forms, real property data, and a variety of other tax information on the Internet.
Prior to joining the District government, Huff was a member of the Federal Senior Executive Service with the Internal Revenue Service. He retired from Federal service in 1998 as District Director of the IRS Brooklyn District. Huff is a graduate of Howard University.
Julia Friedman has been appointed Deputy Chief Financial Officer for Research and Analysis, a new position integrating currently distributed OCFO analytical functions. Friedman has worked extensively with the Mayor's office, the City Council, and the federally appointed DC Financial
Authority on a wide range of issues, including revenue estimates, tax policy analyses, and economic development issues. As Deputy Chief Financial Officer for Research and Analysis, Friedman will be the principal official within the Office of the Chief Financial Officer responsible for all tax and non-tax legislative analysis, revenue estimation, expenditure policy questions, and related issues.
Friedman has been with the District government since 1992, first as a senior economist and subsequently as Chief Economist and Director of the Office of Tax and Economic Policy. Prior to joining the District government, Dr. Friedman was a professor of economics at the University of Oregon, the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, and Macalester College in Minnesota, where she also chaired the Department of Economics. She received her doctorate in economics from the University of Oregon.
Wayne Upshaw will join the OCFO in September 2000 under the provisions of the Intergovernmental Personnel Act as Deputy Chief Financial Officer for Budget and Planning. Upshaw holds a bachelor's degree in political science and economics from the University of Oregon and a master's degree in public administration from the University of Washington. Upshaw is currently a senior executive with the federal Office of Management and Budget where he is responsible for the budget of the Department of Education. He previously held senior management positions with the US General Accounting Office. Upshaw will bring to the District's budget office in-depth knowledge of the federal budget processes and procedures, including performance budgeting. Until his arrival in September, Gordon McDonald, the Associate Budget Officer, will be acting Deputy Chief Financial Officer for Budget and Planning.
John Robinson has been designated Acting Deputy Chief Financial Officer for Finance and Treasury and will continue in this capacity pending a search for and consideration of other eligible candidates. Robinson is a certified cash manager and holds a bachelor's degree in finance from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Robinson was the Cash and Investment Manager for the City of Atlanta and has extensive private sector investment experience. Prior to this assignment, Robinson was Associate Chief Financial Officer, advising the previous CFO on investment and cash management issues.
Anthony Pompa will continue to serve as Deputy Chief Financial Officer for Financial Systems and Operations and Controller of the District of Columbia, a position he has held in an acting or permanent capacity since 1998. Pompa played a significant management role in ensuring the District received unqualified audit opinions over the past three years. He joined the OCFO in February 1997 as principal assistant to the Deputy Chief Financial Officer for Financial Systems and Operations. Previously, he held senior management positions in the City of Baltimore Department of Finance.
Wilma Matthias has been appointed Director, Office of Internal Audit and Security reporting to the Chief Financial Officer. Matthias worked for the US General Accounting Office for ten years prior to joining the District's Office of Tax and Revenue in May 1997 as head of that office's Internal Audit and Internal Security function. Matthias had a significant role in rectifying Office of Tax and Revenue problems that had contributed to the District receiving a qualified audit opinion in years prior to FY 1997. In her prior capacity, she worked extensively with other units within the Office of Tax and Revenue and other City agencies on a range of internal audit matters. She is a graduate of Point Park College in Pittsburgh, a certified government financial manager, and a certified public accountant. In her new job she will be responsible for providing internal audit and security services to all CFO organizations and serving as a liaison to other internal audit organizations including the Inspector General of the District of Columbia and the US General Accounting Office.
Hunter Clark has been appointed General Counsel to the Chief Financial Officer. Clark, a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, joins the OCFO from his position as Professor of Law at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Previously, Clark served as General Counsel to the City Council of the District of Columbia. A published author, Clark also has private sector media and law practice experience.
Stanley Jackson has been selected as Chief of Staff to the Chief Financial Officer. Jackson, a graduate of University of North Carolina, Fayetteville with over 18 years of experience in District government, will be responsible for assisting the CFO in policy implementation and controlling the operations of organizations reporting to the CFO. He will also represent the CFO at executive meetings and other functions. His prior position was as Director, Customer Service in the Office of Tax and Revenue, where he was responsible for all taxpayer customer service matters as well as real property tax billing and the annual real property tax sale.
Saundra Barrett will expand her role as Director of Training for the Office of Tax and Revenue by assuming training responsibilities for all OCFO offices. One of her top priorities will be coordinating necessary training on the SOAR accounting system, ensuring that users have an understanding of how to use the system and of the structure of the system itself. Barrett holds a bachelor's degree in education from University of Maryland, College Park; a master's degree in education from Howard University; and performed her doctoral studies at University of Maryland, College Park. Barrett has extensive experience as a training officer at major, private sector technology companies and has also operated her own business as a training specialist.
Gandhi believes he needed to move quickly to ensure he had with him executives in whom he had full confidence and who shared his vision and sense of urgency. With only three months remaining until the close of the fiscal year and the initiation of the independent audit of the District's accounts, Gandhi has selected the team he will hold responsible for ensuring a clean opinion and building the foundation for the return to home rule.