Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater announced Friday that he has accepted the position of Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and CFO at Florida Atlantic University, according to director of communications, Ashley Carr. In this capacity, Atwater will lead strategic initiatives and economic development opportunities for FAU as well as manage the University’s finances and budget.
Atwater is expected to resign as Florida’s Chief Financial Officer following the 2017 Legislative session.
“President Kelly has assembled a truly visionary executive leadership team and faculty, who are ideally positioned to move Florida Atlantic University into a higher echelon of academic achievement and recognition,” CFO Atwater indicated in a prepared statement.
“I am honored to join FAU in such a significant capacity. While I would have preferred to embrace this opportunity at a later date, the timing of crucial University initiatives warranted an accelerated transition. In the near term I will remain focused on the Department of Financial Services’ legislative agenda through the conclusion of the session and provide Governor Scott sufficient time to thoughtfully consider the selection of Florida’s next CFO.”
Under Atwater’s guidance, the Department of Financial Services has received national recognition for its management of the State’s financial systems and processes, including awards for superior financial transparency, aggressively pursuing insurance fraud, leading the country in returning unclaimed property to its rightful owners and providing a broad array of financial literacy programs to Florida residents.
The Department lead a nationwide effort to identify insurance benefits that had wrongly been withheld by insurance carriers and successfully obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in benefits that were returned to Florida’s citizens. As State Fire Marshal the department overhauled firefighter training, career advancement and is now pursuing a statewide initiative to eliminate the tragic frequency of cancers prevalent among firefighters.
“I am truly excited to accept responsibility for strategically developing public private partnerships and other initiatives to enhance the mission of the University while maintaining its historically sound financial management,” added Atwater.
“As I prepare to exchange my service to the people of Florida from the position of their CFO to the position of CFO of one of the State’s most vibrant universities, I am grateful for the commitment of all those I have served with these past six years and all those I will serve with in the future.”
Here is a statement from Governor Rick Scott:
Today, Governor Rick Scott made the following statement regarding the news that Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater will be joining Florida Atlantic University following the 2017 Legislative Session.
Governor Rick Scott said, “I got to know CFO Jeff Atwater well in 2010 on the campaign trail, and like me, he has been laser-focused on keeping the cost of living low for all Floridians. I am proud that the state has paid down over $7.6 billion in debt since 2011 and CFO Atwater has aggressively helped us achieve that goal. He has fought to reduce burdensome regulations that hinder job growth, protect families from financial fraud and has traveled the state to return more than $1 billion in unclaimed property to its rightful owners. CFO Atwater is a proud Floridian, father, husband and friend and I will truly miss working with him. The role of the CFO is incredibly important to our state and I will begin the process to appoint someone to serve Florida families.”