Summary of Qualifications
Twenty-two year practicing attorney; Twelve years of elected public service; Master of Business Administration degree; licensed real estate broker. Problem solver, consensus builder, fiscal steward.
Skilled transactional and litigation attorney. Extensive experience in federal and state courts and expertise in diverse areas of the law, including public finance, general corporate matters, commercial litigation, real estate, personal injury, white collar criminal defense, and governmental relations. Admitted to State Bar of Texas, District of Columbia Bar, Supreme Court of the United States, U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern and Eastern Districts of Texas and U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. Certified Mediator.
Elected Controller (Chief Financial Officer), 2009, of Houston, fourth largest U.S. city; re-elected twice, 2011, 2013 (term-limited); responsible for oversight of city’s $4.5 billion budget allotted for General Fund and Capital Improvement; served as “financial watchdog” over city’s fiscal affairs. As City Council member for three terms, served as Chair of Budget and Fiscal Affairs; Member of Transportation, Infrastructure & Aviation Committee, Neighborhoods, Housing & Redevelopment Committee, Quality of Life Committee, Pension System Governance Committee, Legislative Advisory Committee, Houston Galveston Area Council – Transportation Policy Committee.
In 2013, elected to Board of Directors, National League of Cities, which represents over 27,000 U.S. cities and towns; also in 2013, named to Government Accounting Standards Advisory Council (GASAC), which advises the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) on technical issues, project priorities, and other matters that affect financial accounting and reporting by state and local governments.
As Controller, has spoken widely regarding municipal finance, the City’s budget and metropolitan area’s economy, including Bloomberg News, C-SPAN, Bond Buyer, Governing Magazine, National Federation of Municipal Analysts, Society of Municipal Analysts, Houston Realtors Association, Greater Houston Partnership, Association for Corporate Growth, Exchange Club of Houston, Institute of Management Accountants, Leadership Houston, West Side Chamber of Commerce, National League of Cities Futures Panel, Houston Association of Realtors, Houston Contractors Association, Houston Council of Engineering Companies, Women Professionals in Government.
Houston City Controller 1/10 to 1/16
Elected service to the City of Houston as the City’s Chief Financial Officer, responsible for ensuring that the assets of the City are properly accounted for and expended in a manner consistent with applicable laws, policies, plans and procedures. To accomplish this goal, the City Controller performs various functions including but not limited to the following: certifying the availability of City funds prior to Council approval of City commitments, processing and monitoring disbursements that total $2.4 billion annually, investing the City’s funds, conducting internal audits of City departments and federal grant programs, operating and maintaining the City’s financial management system, conducting the sale of the City’s public improvement and revenue bonds, and producing both monthly and comprehensive annual financial reports. The Office of the City Controller has six divisions which include Audit, Financial Reporting, Technical Services and Operations, Treasury, Administration and Executive.
Public Finance and Governmental Experience
- Fifteen years of experience in public finance and economic development, including managing the City’s $13 billion debt portfolio and led the issuance and refinancing of more than $15.5 billion in tax-exempt and $2.3 billion in taxable municipal bonds, including more than $3.2 billion in conduit financings.
- Spearheaded optimal debt refunding campaign that generated approximately $500 million in savings during City tenure.
- Navigated debt issuance process amid significant legal challenges, including adoption of tax restrictive propositions and contestation of the City’s water rate increase.
- Managed the City’s multi-billion variable rate debt program and participated in the issuance and structuring of over $6 billion of the Water System’s debt, including negotiating liquidity facilities for the conversion of $1.4 billion of auction rate securities to variable rate demand bonds, index notes and long-term fixed rate bonds during the height of the financial crisis.
- Devised proactive rating agency strategies for the City’s various credits that resulted in upgrades for the City’s general obligation and water & sewer credits.
- Initiated and hosted annual Houston Area Investor Conference.
- Expanded investor outreach efforts, which included addressing revenue challenges during the economic downturn, pension and OPEB liabilities, and addressing the impact of implementing GASB accounting statements.
- Intricately involved in the development of economic initiatives, including complex real estate transactions, tax abatements, 380 agreements, beneficial land exchanges and other tax incentive programs.
- Coordinated process for securing Attorney General approval and executed contracts, attestations and certificates required for the issuance of debt, including the tax certificates, bond purchase agreements, and closing certificates.
- Revamped City’s disclosure policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the SEC’s recently expanded MCDC initiatives.
Controller’s Office Highlights
- Managed a $3 billion investment portfolio which outperformed benchmark Merrill Lynch bond index.
- Oversaw audits and process improvements in City departments resulting in a minimum savings of $7 million.
- Managed the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reporting process, including the implementation of GASB 53, 67 and 68 Standards; received Government Finance Officers Association’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for each CAFR.
- Introduced City’s e-disbursement web page by which City’s daily payment records are accessible.
- Appointed to National League of Cities’ (NLC) Finance, Administration and Intergovernmental Relations (FAIR) Policy and Advocacy Committee.
- National League of Cities’ 2013 Community and Economic Development Steering Committee.
- Appointed to Government Accounting Standards Advisory Council (GASAC).
- Appointed to National League of Cities’ “CityFutures Panel on Public Finance” for 2011.
- Awarded Certified Public Funds Investment Manager (CPFIM) credential by Association of Public Treasurers of the United States.