CITY HALL — Gigi Decavalles-Hughes is no longer acting.

City Manager Rod Gould picked Decavalles-Hughes to lead City Hall’s Finance Department after serving as acting director since September, it was announced Tuesday.

The appointment follows former director Carol Swindell’s resignation for family reasons.

“Gigi has proven skill in all aspects of financial management and budgeting,” Gould said in a press release. “Her strategic thinking has served the city well in maintaining and strengthening the city’s fiscal position. Under Gigi’s leadership, the department will continue to provide the highest level of financial accountability to the Santa Monica community.”

Decavalles-Hughes has been intimately involved in all aspects of city financial operations. From October 2009 to September 2011, she was administrative services officer for the Housing and Economic Development Department where she led a team in completion of over $100 million in redevelopment financing through a bank loan and a bond issuance among numerous other financial strategic planning and departmental initiatives.

She also served as senior administrative analyst for the Community and Cultural Services Department where she was responsible for financial forecasts, operating and capital budgets, and for developing financial structures for new programs including the Annenberg Community Beach House.

She served as budget manager among other budget positions for the Finance Department from February 1997 until May 2001. During this time, she ably completed preparation of the 2001-02 budget.

Prior to Santa Monica, she worked for Arthur Anderson in Washington, DC from July 1994 to March 1995 where she led client/consultant teams in process re-engineering and organizational restructuring projects, including the commercial lending process at two regional banks, the budgeting process of the AARP, and the accounting and financial reporting process of the Kennedy Center.

She also worked for the Office of the New York City Mayor as productivity project manager from August 1992 to July 1994.

“It is an honor to lead the Finance Department and continue the tradition of strong fiscal management that has enabled the city of Santa Monica to maintain its excellent financial standing,” said Decavalles-Hughes. “I am proud to lead a group of highly talented and dedicated individuals.”

Decavalles-Hughes received a master’s in urban planning from New York University. She earned a bachelor of arts in history from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania.

Previous director Swindell resigned her position as to relocate to the East Coast to care for her mother who is in declining health, city officials said. Swindell has agreed to help City Hall with a few special financial projects over the next several months.

As director of finance, Decavalles-Hughes will receive a salary of $172,932. She will be responsible for preparation of an operating budget of over $596 million. The department’s operating budget is $25 million with approximately 86 employees.

Finance oversees the management of City Hall’s investment portfolio and preparation of the budget; financial operations including financial reporting, purchasing, payroll, and accounts payable; business and revenue operations; internal audit; and risk management.

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