Amy B. Kweskin, vice chancellor for finance and chief financial officer at Washington University in St. Louis, has been promoted to executive vice chancellor for finance and will continue as chief financial officer, announced Chancellor Andrew D. Martin. The appointment is effective Jan. 1.
“Amy is a wise, trusted leader and colleague with great integrity, innovative solutions to changing needs and a deep commitment to safeguarding and optimizing the university’s financial resources,” Martin said.
“I value the thoughtful strategic and operational guidance she provides daily, but especially over the past 20 months, when the university had to make some difficult decisions in response to COVID-19.
“While the global pandemic negatively affected university revenues and resulted in unanticipated increased expenditures early on, Amy’s strong financial skills and problem-solving mentality helped limit the impact,” Martin said. “She is respected across the institution for her collaborative nature and wise counsel and richly deserves this promotion.
“She also played a pivotal role in the design and implementation of Workday, the university’s new human resources and financial administrative system, which successfully launched July 1.”
Martin noted that as chair of the Workday HR and finance executive leadership team, Kweskin has led a multiyear effort that is transforming and modernizing how the university collects, manages and reports the data it needs to operate.
“This promotion is extremely well deserved and I’m so pleased to see Amy’s hard work and expertise acknowledged in this way,” said Tom Hillman, a Washington University trustee and founder and managing partner of Lewis & Clark Holdings.
“Amy is highly regarded for her financial acumen, sharp instincts and thoughtful leadership style. She is a consummate professional with deep ties to St. Louis and the university, which gives her a unique perspective for her work shepherding the university’s finances, particularly during this time of extraordinary growth and opportunity. She has made many significant contributions to the institution and we are extremely fortunate to have her here.”
As vice chancellor for finance and CFO, Kweskin is responsible for the financial operations of the university and oversees a staff of about 190. She is responsible for the Financial Services office, including treasury management and insurance; accounting services; sponsored research accounting; shared business services hub; financial planning and budgets; and financial information services.
In her new role, she also will be responsible for overseeing the university’s real estate portfolio, operations and development, as well as representing the university on the board of the Cortex Innovation Community. Her staff responsibility will grow to 240 members.
Kweskin reports to Martin and serves as a member of the chancellor’s cabinet, Washington University’s senior leadership group.
‘Honored and humbled’
“I am honored and humbled to step into the executive vice chancellor role and want to thank Chancellor Martin and the board for giving me this opportunity,” Kweskin said. “I am excited to work with our outstanding real estate team as we assist the university’s efforts in the St. Louis region. As a St. Louis native, I am proud to support Chancellor Martin’s vision of WashU ‘in St. Louis and for St. Louis.’ I look forward to continuing to support our tremendous institution.”
Kweskin joined the 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. She was named vice chancellor for finance and CFO in 2016.
Among her achievements at the university, she was instrumental in developing the funding model and structure for the Gateway to Success initiative; has been actively involved in the strategic plan as a member of the coordinating committee; led the search committee to select the new executive vice chancellor for administration and chief administrative officer; has overseen the development and implementation of the university’s debt-financing strategy and led university bond financings of $2 billion; ensured that the university has adequate liquidity to meet its day-to-day operations; and developed and presented financial literacy training presentations for students and staff.
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. 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 the university.
Kweskin, who was named to the St. Louis Business Journal’s list of “Most Influential Business Women” in 2018, is active in many organizations, including serving on the board of Hillel at Washington University and as a member of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis’s budget, finance and administration committee.
She is involved in various professional organizations, including the NCAA board of governors’ investment subcommittee and the National Association of College and University Business Officers and as a past member of the board of directors for the Treasury Institute for Higher Education, which promotes treasury best practices in schools and universities nationwide.
In addition, she has been a speaker for numerous organizations and a guest lecturer for Olin Business School.
Kweskin and her husband, Jay, have two children. Their son, Ben, and daughter, Mia, both earned bachelor’s degrees from Arts & Sciences.