Amy B. Kweskin, associate vice chancellor for finance and treasurer at Washington University in St. Louis, has been named the university’s vice chancellor for finance and chief financial officer, announced Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton. The appointment is effective Jan. 1, 2016.
Kweskin will succeed Barbara A. Feiner, who announced in July that she would retire Dec. 31.
“Amy Kweskin has the experience, accomplishments and potential to effectively serve as vice chancellor for finance and chief financial officer. I have had the good fortune to work with her for many years in her current role, and I value greatly the opportunity to work with her in this new capacity,” Wrighton said.
As vice chancellor for finance and CFO, Kweskin will be responsible for the financial operations of the university and oversee a staff of about 140. Her areas of responsibility will include accounting services; treasury management and insurance; sponsored projects accounting; and financial planning and analysis.
Kweskin will report to Wrighton and be a member of the University Council, Washington University’s senior-most leadership group comprising academic leaders and managers of vital administrative areas.
Michael R. Cannon, JD, executive vice chancellor and general counsel, was chair of the eight-member committee appointed to identify candidates for the position.
“The search committee was blessed with an exceptionally strong group of finalists, in part because the university’s Financial Services operation enjoys such a stellar reputation nationwide,” Cannon said.
“Amy’s distinguished record as the university’s longtime treasurer put her into that mix, but she put herself ‘over the top’ with her deep understanding and passion for the university’s student-directed, research and clinical missions, her demonstrated ability to creatively reduce university costs, and the mastery she demonstrated in the art of effectively and energetically communicating complex financial challenges and strategies.”
Kweskin joined Washington University’s Office of the Treasurer in April 1997 as associate treasurer after 12 years at McDonnell Douglas Corp. She was named university treasurer six months later and, in July 2008, was promoted to associate vice chancellor for finance and treasurer.
In her current position, in which she is responsible for safeguarding and effectively using the university’s financial resources, Kweskin manages the offices of Treasury Management, Insurance and Risk Management, and Student and Parent Loan Programs.
Among her achievements at the university, she has overseen the development and implementation of the university’s debt-financing strategy and led university bond financings of over $1 billion; ensured that the university has adequate liquidity to meet its day-to-day operations; provided financial support and guidance to the Cortex Innovation Community; created an internally funded loan program to support students during the financial crisis; and developed and presented financial literacy training presentations for students and staff.
Building on strengths
“I want to build upon the strengths of the university’s outstanding finance team and work with them to continue improving our financial operations,” Kweskin said. “I am very excited about the opportunity to partner with our senior leadership team, the university’s seven schools and the central fiscal unit to develop innovative financial approaches that will support the university’s mission.
“After 18 years at the university, I am thrilled to take on this new challenge and to keep Washington University’s momentum going,” Kweskin added.
Kweskin graduated summa cum laude in 1985 from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with a bachelor’s degree in finance and marketing with a minor in economics.
She was recruited to join McDonnell Douglas Corp.’s Fiscal Development Program. After the intensive three-year training program, she was offered a position in the company’s treasury department.
After earning a master’s degree in business administration from Saint Louis University in 1989, Kweskin quickly moved up through McDonnell Douglas’ treasury office, eventually serving as group manager treasury for six years until joining Washington University in 1997.
Kweskin is active in many organizations, including serving on the board and as finance chair for St. Louis Hillel at Washington University, which serves Jewish students at universities throughout the St. Louis area.
She is also on the board of directors for the Treasury Institute for Higher Education, which promotes treasury best practices in schools and universities nationwide, and the Contractor Loan Fund, which is a new organization focused on building the capacity of St. Louis area minority- and women-owned construction firms.
Kweskin and her and husband, Jay, have two children. Their son, Ben, graduated from Washington University in May 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in political science in Arts & Sciences; and daughter, Mia, is a junior majoring in international and area studies in Arts & Sciences.