Retired D.C. CFO Talks About Immigrant Experience

By Kevin Karami |

On Tuesday, October 12th, the UCR School of Public Policy held a seminar featuring Natwar Gandhi, the retired Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the District of Columbia.

During the seminar, titled “Still the Promised Land--How an Immigrant Helped Save the Nation’s Capital from Financial Ruin” Gandhi spoke about his experiences as an immigrant and his journey to becoming a successful CFO. He will draw from his book, Still the Promised Land.

Before retiring as CFO in 2014, Gandhi was responsible for D.C.’s approximately $12 billion in annual operating and capital funds. According to his bio, under his watch, “the District was transformed from a deficit-plagued, junk bond rated jurisdiction with $550 million negative fund balance into a financially healthy municipality with a string of balanced budgets and a fund balance of $1.5 billion at the end of 2013.”

“Dr. Gandhi’s story, from working on trains in Mumbai to becoming the independent Chief Financial Officer for the District of Columbia in Washington DC, is a story about determination, hard work, and achievement,” said UCR public policy student Vivek Kakar, who will be emceeing the event. “Not only can we appreciate Dr. Gandhi’s rich life experiences as an immigrant but we can also learn and incorporate them into our aspirations for success.” 

Listen to the episode below.


Since 2014, the UCR School of Public Policy Seminar Series has been bringing policymakers, practitioners, and researchers to campus to talk about various policy issues facing the region and beyond. For more information about the series, visit


Media Contact:

Kevin Karami