BOSTON – Friday, August 18, 2017 – Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced today that Daniel Koh will be leaving the City of Boston and David Sweeney will be appointed Chief of Staff, effective September 1st. Sweeney has served as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Collector-Treasurer for the City of Boston since April 2014.
“David Sweeney has served as an integral part of my administration from day one,” Mayor Walsh said. “He is a thoughtful, no-nonsense manager who is focused on implementing initiatives that will move Boston and its neighborhoods forward. It’s because of his successful oversight of the city’s finances that we are able to invest in our priorities from Imagine Boston 2030 and our long-term plans, and I am very confident in his ability to manage the day-to-day execution of city government while also setting the foundation to meet our long-term goals.”
Mayor Walsh continued, “Dan Koh has provided unwavering service to the City of Boston for almost four years. From his dedication to improving education, housing and job opportunities for the residents of Boston to making government more innovative and efficient through data-driven practices such as CityScore, Dan is a proven leader with a big vision and a passion for making people’s lives better. The City of Boston has benefited greatly from his work and I thank him for his dedication and support.”
“Serving as Chief of Staff has been an incredible honor and I am grateful to the people of Boston and Mayor Walsh for the opportunity,” Koh said. “David Sweeney is a model public servant who has impeccably managed the city’s financial health over the past term. He is a fantastic choice for Chief of Staff and Boston is incredibly lucky to have him.”
As Chief of Staff, Sweeney will focus on accelerating the implementation of the Mayor’s priorities, ensuring the effectiveness of city services, and supporting over 18,000 employees in doing their jobs at the City of Boston.
“I am thankful to Mayor Walsh for this great opportunity and for allowing me to continue to have a role in realizing the vision the Mayor has identified to ensure Boston’s future success,” Sweeney said. “I look forward to bringing the same focus of efficiency and accountability that has been applied to the Mayor’s management of city finances to the role of Chief of Staff, and implementing the priorities that will benefit Boston and its neighborhoods.”
In his current role as CFO, Sweeney is responsible for maintaining strong financial management, while also ensuring the ability to make significant investments in Boston’s future. A member of the Mayor’s Cabinet, Sweeney also oversees personnel and labor functions for the City, including Human Resources, Labor Relations, Treasury, Assessing, Auditing, Budget, Purchasing and the Boston Retirement Board.
The City’s sound fiscal management was recently validated by the affirmation of Boston’s two AAA bond ratings for the 4th year in a row. In February, Moody’s Investor Services said that “Boston’s AAA reflects the city’s strong fiscal management and stable financial position as well as the large and growing tax base,” while S&P Global Ratings said that they viewed “Boston’s management environment as very strong.” Under Sweeney’s leadership as CFO, the City is also projected to have roughly doubled its financial reserves over the past four years to ensure the City is prepared for any future downturns in the economic cycle.
As a lead partner in the development of Imagine Boston 2030, the first citywide plan in over 50 years, Sweeney guided Mayor Walsh’s five-year capital plan to focus on the core goals of BuildBPS, Go Boston 2030, Boston Creates and Climate Ready Boston, resulting in an estimated 77 percent of investments aligned with planning efforts under the Imagine Boston 2030 umbrella, moving Boston residents’ priorities from idea to action. This increase in capital investment is supported by a plan to gradually expand annual borrowing from $140 million to $200 million by 2022 while still remaining in compliance with debt affordability policy, ensuring protection for operational spending on priorities including education and public safety.
Sweeney has managed the presentation of a balanced budget several years in a row, most recently supporting Mayor Walsh in the successful passage of the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget, which implemented a number of cost saving reforms that will save the City approximately $60 million and allowed for investments in recovery services, police cadets, additional pre-kindergarten seats, extended learning time, homeless services, affordable housing, renovating neighborhood parks and expanded arts funding.
Working under Mayor Walsh’s charge to improve internal policies and procedures, transparency and accountability across departments, Sweeney has carried out expansive operational reviews of the Boston Planning and Development Agency, Boston Police Department, Boston Fire Department, Human Resources, and Property Management. These audits have identified reform opportunities such as reducing police overtime costs and creating the Long-Term Financial Plan for Boston Public Schools. To continue this good governing practice, Sweeney implemented and funded a process to audit two departments each year.
As the Cabinet Chief overseeing labor relations, Sweeney has led successful negotiations with several of the City’s unions, including most recently with the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association and AFSCME. In his first year with Mayor Walsh, Sweeney negotiated an agreement to contain health care costs, which is expected to achieve approximately $45 million in new savings over five years.
Sweeney has also worked closely with Mayor Walsh to move the Mayor’s legislative priorities forward in an effort to provide improved educational opportunities, safer communities, access to affordable housing and economic mobility for all residents. Sweeney spearheaded the development of the Mayor’s comprehensive education finance reform agenda and served as a strong voice advocating for a moderate charter cap lift coupled with financial reform as a thoughtful alternative to the charter ballot question.
Prior to joining the Walsh Administration, Sweeney served as the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Executive Director of the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission. During this time the organization experienced its two most successful years, generating $4.85 billion in sales in 2013 and returning $984 million in profit in 2012. In his position, Sweeney oversaw all accounting, procurement, budget, charitable gaming, auditing, asset management, licensing, and collections functions of the Lottery. He led efforts to reform purchasing, institute a capital program, increase staff accountability, and enhance transparency at the agency.
Beginning in 2005, Sweeney worked for the House Committee on Ways and Means, serving as a Budget Analyst, focused on public safety issues. Within two years, he was elevated to Budget Director, where he was responsible for assembling the $30 billion annual state budget. In this role, and later as Chief Fiscal Policy Advisor to the Speaker of the House, Sweeney developed legislation dealing with municipal health insurance reform and economic development initiatives, among other issues.
His time as Budget Director included the largest recession since the Great Depression, during which time the Legislature implemented diverse solutions to achieve balanced budgets, while implementing reforms across state government that better positioned the state for future economic downturns, pulled the Commonwealth out of the recession faster than the nation as a whole.
Originally from Boston, Sweeney is a graduate of Boston College High School and Providence College. He lives in Dorchester with his wife, Kaitlyn, and their two children, Jack and Ellie.