Jennie Huang Bennett - City Club of Chicago

Jennie Huang Bennett

Jennie Huang Bennett is the Associate Vice President for Finance at the University of Chicago, where she manages Financial Services, including the University’s financial planning and analysis, debt, treasury, accounting, accounts payable, procurement, and payroll.

Jennie served as the former Chief Financial Officer for the City of Chicago from 2019-2023. During her tenure, the City of Chicago closed a $1.2 billion budget gap in the midst of the pandemic, the largest in the City’s history, brought structural balance to the City’s finances, achieved the highest reserve levels in at least a decade, and secured 13 rating upgrades and 3 positive outlooks for the first time in as much as a quarter century for the City.  O’Hare International Airport was only one of 2 airports to come out the pandemic with two higher ratings than it held going into the pandemic.  The City of Chicago also developed three largest in the City’s history investment plans totaling $8 billion in transformative investments for the City, including the City’s inaugural ESG bonds which was awarded the Bond Buyer Deal of the Year.  She led the development of Chicago Connected, the largest and longest duration internet accessibility program which cut in half the digital digit in Chicago,, the Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund, one of the largest small business loan programs in the country, and the Chicago Families Forward Fund, which provided cash assistance to housing insecure families in the midst of the pandemic. She also served on the boards of two of the City’s four pension funds.

Jennie has a wide range of both public sector and private sector experience. Previous to the City, she served as the Chief Financial Officer for Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Jennie has extensive experience in managing financial turnarounds, driving cost efficiencies, managing large complex capital structures, developing governmental budgets, generating revenues through creative solutions, and finding paths toward financial stability. She helped lead CPS through significant financial difficulties, which was relieved through fairer educational funding. She also served as CPS’s acting Chief Internal Auditor from 2018-2019 and Treasurer from 2012-16. Prior to CPS, Bennett spent over a decade as a senior investment banker in municipal securities, managing post-recovery financing needs for New York after 9/11 and Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina, stadium financings, a large water and wastewater acquisition among other types of municipal financings.

Jennie has served on several boards, including currently as a member of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, a regulatory body governing the municipal market, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She previously served as board member of Perspectives Charter Schools, the Chicago Opera Theater and Women in Public Finance.  She is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago.