City Club of Chicago: Chicago’s Chief Financial Officer and Budget Director

City Club of Chicago

Moderator Omar Daghestani, Chicago Chief Financial Officer Jennie Huang Bennett and Chicago Budget Director Susie Park during a virtual session of the City Club of Chicago, November 9, 2020 (City Club of Chicago)

November 9, 2020

Jennie Huang Bennett, Chief Financial Officer and Susie Park, Budget Director – City of Chicago

Jennie Huang Bennett

Jennie Huang Bennett serves as the City of Chicago’s Chief Financial Officer. Previously the Chief Financial Officer for Chicago Public Schools (CPS), Ms. Bennett has extensive experience in managing financial turnarounds, driving cost efficiencies, managing large complex capital structures, developing governmental budgets, generating revenues through creative solutions, and finding paths toward financial stability.

Bennett has a wide range of both public sector and private sector experience. She helped lead CPS through significant financial difficulties, which have now been relieved through new, fairer educational funding. She has also served as CPS’s acting Chief Internal Auditor since 2018 and Treasurer from 2012-2016.

Prior to CPS, Bennett spent over a decade as a senior investment banker in municipal securities, managing post-recovery financing needs for New York after 9/11 and Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina, large water and wasterwater financings and acquisitions, stadium financings, financings for higher educational institutions as well as various types of other municipal financings.

Susie Park

Susie Park was appointed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot as the Budget Director in May of 2019. In this role, Park is responsible for developing and overseeing the City’s $11.65 billion annual operating budget which includes $4.4 billion in corporate funds or the City’s general operating fund; $3 billion in enterprise funds that support Chicago’s water and sewer system and aviation system; $1.76 billion in state and federal grants; as well as overseeing the pension, Special Revenue and debt service funds. While managing the budget for the country’s third largest city, Park’s fiduciary duties include continuously monitoring the revenues against spending and expenditures and making recommendations for operational adjustments throughout the year as needed.

Prior to serving as the Budget Director, Park served as Deputy Chief of the Bureau of Organizational Development for the Chicago Police Department, responsible for managing the finance, procurement, and grants division and overseeing the department’s $1.6 billion budget. From 2015 to 2018, Park was the Deputy Budget Director for the Office of Budget and Management where she oversaw the budgets for the Chicago Police Department (CPD), Chicago Fire Department (CFD), Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC), Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), Police Board and the Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT). Prior to her work with the City of Chicago, Park held the role as the Director of Financial Control for Cook County.

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