(ST. LOUIS—December 6, 2017) St. Louis Comptroller Darlene Green is being recognized as a Trailblazing Woman in Public Finance at the 2017 Freda Johnson Awards. The Northeast Women in Public Finance will formally acknowledge honorees at The Bond Buyer's Deal of the Year gala in New York City this evening, Dec. 6.
This marks the seventh year the group has handed out the award, named for Freda Johnson, a founding board member of the organization and former executive vice president and public finance division head at Moody's Investors Service.
“I am honored to be recognized as a Trailblazer by Northeast Women in Public Finance. It is a privilege to serve the people of St. Louis as Comptroller and I am thankful for the citizens’ support,” said Comptroller Green.
Comptroller Green has served more than 30 years in public accounting and finance roles. In 1997, she was the first woman—and only the third African American—elected Comptroller of the City of St. Louis. The people of St. Louis have elected her comptroller six times in total and she has served alongside four mayoral administrations.
During her tenure in office, Comptroller Green has led the city to several year-end surpluses and eight credit rating upgrades. Through her foresight and leadership, the city of St. Louis has not issued any derivative or variable rate debt. These strong fiscal policies saved taxpayers millions of dollars in the City of St. Louis and avoided the 2006-08 derivative debt crisis that plagued cities and corporations alike. As a result, in 2008 the City of St. Louis received an A+ credit rating from S&P—something the city had not achieved in 35 years.
Comptroller Green has introduced innovative programs that provide real benefits. In 1996, she created a Finance Internship Program in the Office of the Comptroller, which connected local minority and low-income students interested in finance careers with real-life work experience and mentorships in municipal finance. The program served as a model for the citywide jobs program,
Comptroller Green recognizes the late Pearlie Evans, aide to Congressman Bill Clay, Sr., and the late Missouri Senator Paula Carter as two women who influenced her career.
“Pearlie was a civil rights leader who helped me define my role as Comptroller and taught me to stay focused. And Paula was a strong woman and great mentor. They showed courage working in male-dominated careers and they both did so with dignity. I’m so grateful to Pearlie and Paula for believing in me and encouraging me,” said Comptroller Green.
Promoting the growth of the next generation of public finance professionals is important to Comptroller Green. She is a mentor and subject matter expert to peers in the National Association of Black Accountants and the Government Finance Officers Association, and she frequently speaks with local women’s networks in corporate and nonprofit settings, sharing her accounting and political experience.
“The public finance sector is a great place for women who want to use their skills to help people,” said Comptroller Green. “Focus on serving your clients and constituents, be creative and innovative, and you can build a rewarding finance career.”
A native of St. Louis, Comptroller Green graduated from Vashon High School. She then earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Washington University in St. Louis. She is an active member of her Zeta Phi Beta sorority chapter and a member of the National Women’s Political Caucus of St. Louis.
Comptroller Darlene Green is the chief fiscal officer of the City of St. Louis and is charged with safeguarding the city’s credit rating and with protecting taxpayer dollars. Visit www.stlouis-mo.gov/comptroller to learn more about the Office of the Comptroller.