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Governor Appoints Robert C. Bobb Emergency Financial Manager for Detroit Public Schools

January 26, 2009


LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced the appointment of Robert C. Bobb as emergency financial manager for the Detroit Public Schools (DPS).

"Robert Bobb is a proven leader who brings valuable expertise in financial and executive management and a passion for urban education," Granholm said.  "Robert has the ability to get the Detroit Public Schools' fiscal house in order so the district can devote its attention to ensuring that every student receives a quality education."

As the district's emergency financial manager, Bobb will assume all financial authority in DPS, which includes balancing the district's budget, managing spending, and establishing strong and reliable financial systems that support sound academic decisions for the students of Detroit.

Bobb brings a wealth of experience in executive management in both the private and public sectors to this position.  He has served as city administrator and deputy mayor for Washington, D.C. and as the District of Columbia's homeland security advisor, managing a workforce of approximately 20,000 employees and an annual budget of $8 billion.  He also served as the city manager of Oakland, California, and executive director of the Oakland Redevelopment Agency.  In addition, he was the city manager for the cities of Richmond, Virginia; Santa Ana, California; and Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Bobb is an expert on issues facing urban governments, including education, economic development, community and neighborhood development, municipal budgeting and finances, contract negotiations, libraries and recreation facilities, and social problems such as crime.

Currently, Bobb is the owner, president and CEO of LAPA, LLC, a multi-faceted private/public sector consulting firm.  He was elected to a two-year term as president of the Washington, D.C. Board of Education in November 2006. 

Bobb earned a bachelor of arts in political science from Grambling State University and a master of science in business from Western Michigan University.  He also completed the certificate program for senior executives in state and local governments from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he served as a member of the Executive Alumni Council.

In December, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan declared that the Detroit Public Schools are in a financial emergency.  According to state law, an emergency financial manager must be appointed by the governor to assume all financial authority in the district.  Flanagan applauded the choice of Robert Bobb.  "This is a man who the community can trust to make the right decisions for the future of Detroit's children," he said.

Robert Bobb will begin his new position in mid-February. 

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