District leaders praised departing D.C. Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey S. DeWitt for his work in stabilizing the city’s finances during his tenure.
DeWitt, who became CFO in 2014, will leave the District government on March 9 to take a position at the University of Kansas as chief financial officer and executive vice chancellor for finance. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser praised DeWitt for his “steady leadership and prudent stewardship of the District’s finances” while D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson credited him for making the city financially potent.
“Jeff DeWitt is the fundamental reason for the District’s current financial health,” Mendelson said in a statement. “His most recent accomplishment has been steering us through the economic damage of the COVID pandemic. Under his leadership city revenues have grown by over 40 percent—almost three billion, financial management (which was already good) has improved, and Wall Street has given the District a triple-A rating. Because of his management, the mayor and council have been able to invest more dollars in affordable housing and social justice initiatives. We will surely miss Jeff DeWitt, but our fiscal capacity is his legacy. I wish him well in his new endeavor.”
D.C. Council member Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5), chairman of the Committee on Business and Economic Development, praised DeWitt also but stressed that his successor, to be selected by the mayor and approved by the D.C. Council and the U.S. Congress, must be a strong fiscally prudent leader.
“Now more than ever, Washington, D.C. needs a strong and experienced CFO, one that understands the nature of the District’s economy and will help guide the District from recession to recovery,” McDuffie said. “I look forward to participating in the process to identify the person to fill this critical role.”
D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton thanked DeWitt for his service and said she will reintroduce legislation to allow the District to raise the pay of its CFO.
“D.C. must have the ability to set the pay of all of our local public officials, including the CFO, who are paid exclusively from locally raised funds,” Norton said. “My bill explicitly authorizing D.C. to set the pay of its CFO in accord with market rates is vital to recruiting and retaining top talent for this uniquely important position.”