D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray introduced his pick for the District's new chief financial officer during a news conference Thursday.
Jeffrey S. DeWitt has held the position of chief financial officer in Phoenix since 2009. In Phoenix, DeWitt managed a $3.4 billion budget. Washington's city budget is approximately $10 billion.
DeWitt has a bachelor's degree in geology and earth science from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill. and a master's degree in water resource management from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill.
If he is confirmed by D.C. Council, DeWitt would replace Natwar Gandhi. Fifteen years ago, the city almost went bankrupt, but is now working on a $1.5 billion surplus.
"This city is doing better than any city, county or state in America," D.C. Council member Jack Evans said. "You're on a national scene. This isn't Des Moines. This is Washington, D.C., the nation's capital. Our local news is sometimes national news."
Mayor Gray has has been criticized in the past for pressuring Gandhi to boost revenue estimates. Thursday, with Gray by his side, DeWitt pledged his independence.
"You have to maintain that independence no matter where you're the CFO. At times, you have to say no because of the financial situations of government," DeWitt said.
Gandhi has held the CFO position for 13 years, overseeing the District's $11 billion budget.