Featured Speakers and Presenters

Andrea Gibson

Director of Project Management and Operational Excellence, Cook County Health and Hospitals System
Previously Budget Director, Cook County

Andrea Gibson has over 22 years of government finance and management experience, used to achieve objectives and solve problems by casting strategic vision, forging strategic alliances, and executing projects.  Thought leader accomplished in partnering with senior leaders to develop strategic operational and financial solutions that effectively accomplish organizational goals. 

Andrea Gibson is currently Director of Project Management and Operational Excellence, Cook County Health and Hospitals System, where she leads the Project Management Office (PMO).  This office oversees and coordinates the various initiative teams across the Cook County Health and Hospitals System, implementing projects and process improvements.  She is coordinating the implement the Health System’s “Impact 2020” strategic plan to implement the CEO’s vision and to build critical business capabilities.

Prior to joining the Health System, Andrea served as Budget Director for Cook County for 4 years, where she addressed over $900 million in budget deficits, reduced the 5 year outlook on structural deficit by $1 billion.  She drove an overall 3% budget decline despite rising labor costs through a reduction in 2,000 positions, non-personnel reductions, and targeted, policy-driven revenue initiatives.  She mitigated the impact of the rollback of a 1% sales tax increase, valued at over $400 million annually. Andrea reduced the subsidy to the Health System by $225M without impacting patient care and helped obtain and implement Medicaid Expansion for 90,000 patients to allow shift from expensive emergency room care to managed care.  She established and led the Cook County Return on Investment program (CCROI) where offices competed for funding that would have a policy or financial return for the County.  Andrea collaborated with various departments and elected offices to identify and execute cost savings based on policy, performance, data and program evaluation.  She developed budget incentives related to worker’s compensation, space, and capital expenditures to drive cost savings.  She also established policy-based budgeting to improve programs such as health care for the indigent and enhancements to the criminal justice system.  Andrea prepared, produced and implemented $3 billion annual budget.  Monitored expenditure and revenue performance against the budget; recommended and executed mid-year corrections as required.  She established a budget schedule and disciplined budget process to allow passage of the budget prior to the beginning of the fiscal year.

Prior to working at Cook County, Andrea served in the City of Chicago, Office of Budget and Management in a variety of roles from 2002 to 2011 for 9 years.  She served as 1st Deputy Budget Director, preparing, producing and overseeing the city’s annual $8 billion budget recommendation as well as overseeing budget department staff and departments.

Andrea’s educational background includes an M.A. from the University of Chicago, Irving B. Harris School of Public Policy Studies in 1995, a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Frankfurt in 1991, a B.A. in Political Science and Environmental Studies at Macalester College in 1991.


John V. Miller, CFA

Managing Director, Co-Head of Fixed Income

John serves in a strategic role as the co-head of fixed income for Nuveen Asset Management, responsible for the investment process and performance of the firm’s municipal fixed income group. He is also the lead manager of the High Yield Municipal Bond Strategy, the California High Yield Municipal Bond Strategy, and related institutional portfolios. In addition, he co-manages the All-American Municipal Bond Strategy and the Strategic Municipal Opportunities Strategy and oversees a number of closed-end funds.  

As the co-head of fixed income, John leads one of the largest and most experienced municipal bond managers in the investment industry. The firm’s team of more than 40 portfolio managers, sector specialists, analysts and traders covers the full spectrum of municipal sectors and niche markets across the United States and its territories. John oversees Nuveen Asset Management’s actively managed investment approach that is firmly rooted in rigorous, bottom-up credit research to help identify attractively valued municipal bond investments. As they seek out investment opportunities, his team members are able to leverage Nuveen Asset Management’s large market presence and rich heritage of more than 100 years in the municipal marketplace. 

John is a trusted public voice in discussing key issues and trends within the municipal market. He is a frequent guest on CNBC, Bloomberg Television and Fox Business News. His perspective is often sought out by leading industry media such as The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Bloomberg News and Morningstar. He has also served as a panelist on Barron’s Municipal Bond Roundtable.  
John’s background features over 20 years of experience in the municipal marketplace. Before being named the co-head of fixed income in 2011, he was chief investment officer for the firm’s municipal bond team starting in 2007. He was named a managing director and head of portfolio management for Nuveen Asset Management in 2006. John became a portfolio manager in 2000 after starting at the firm as a municipal credit analyst in 1996. He began working in the financial industry at a private account management firm in 1993. 

John earned a B.A. in economics and political science from Duke University, an M.A. in economics from Northwestern University and an M.B.A. in finance with honors from the University of Chicago. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Chicago. 


MarySue Barrett

President, Metropolitan Planning Council


Michael D. Belsky

Executive Director, Center for Municipal Finance
Lecturer and Senior Fellow, Harris Public Policy

Michael D. Belsky is managing director and head of fixed income at Greenwich Investment Management, a high-yield municipal bond advisory firm. He is a recognized expert in municipal finance with more than 30 years of experience.

Mr. Belsky was recently asked by the SEC to testify as an expert in hearings on secondary market disclosure in the municipal bond market. In addition to working as a top executive specializing in credit review and rating in public finance, Mr. Belsky served as a two-term mayor and two-term city council member in Highland Park, Illinois. From 2008 to 2011, Mr. Belsky was a member of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, a national body that sets accounting and financial reporting standards for state and local governments.


Christopher R. Berry

Academic Director, Center for Municipal Finance
Associate Professor, Harris Public Policy

Christopher R. Berry is academic director of the Center for Municipal Finance and faculty director of the master of science program in computational analysis and public policy. His research interests include metropolitan governance, the politics of public finance and intergovernmental fiscal relations.

Dr. Berry is the author of “Imperfect Union: Representation and Taxation in Multilevel Governments” (Cambridge University Press, 2010), which won the Best Book Award in urban politics from the American Political Science Association. Prior to joining Harris, Professor Berry was a director in the MetroEdge division of ShoreBank.


David M. Limardi

Midwest Regional Director, International City/County
   Management Association
Managing Director, Limardi Consulting, LLC

David M. Limardi is the Midwest Regional director for the International City/County Management Association and the managing director of Limardi Consulting, LLC. He began his career in local government management in Wilmette, Illinois, and at the age of 29, he became the village manager of Lincolnshire, Illinois.  Ten years later, he was appointed the city manager of Highland Park, a position he held until 2011.

Mr. Limardi teaches public finance and budgeting in the Northwestern University’s division of public policy and administration master’s program. He also has taught at Harris Public Policy and Northern Illinois University Division of Public Administration. He is a keynote speaker and writer, focusing on leadership, ethics and public sector finance and budgeting.

Paula R. Worthington

Senior Lecturer, Harris Public Policy

Paula R. Worthington is a senior lecturer at Harris Public Policy, where she teaches classes in state and local public finance and cost-benefit analysis. She is actively involved in teaching, advising and programming as part of the Professional Certificate in Municipal Finance and related initiatives. She has served as an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and as a research officer, economic advisor and senior research economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.