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Budget Director Visalli to Depart Administration with Legacy of Responsible Governance and Investments in Delaware’s Future

Date Posted: Friday, April 8th, 2016
Categories:  Former Governor Jack Markell (2009-2017) Office of Management and Budget Office of the Governor

Chosen in national search to be COO at renowned St. Andrew’s School

Dover, DE – Director Ann Shepard Visalli will conclude her tenure leading Delaware’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) next month following more than seven years leading the Markell Administration’s efforts to balance challenging budgets while making key investments that have strengthened the economy, improved the education system, and enhanced quality of life throughout the state. Visalli, who has worked with Markell for 17 years and previously served as his Deputy State Treasurer, will become the newly established Chief Operating Officer of the prestigious St. Andrew’s School in Middletown.

After becoming Governor Markell’s first Cabinet appointment in January 2009, Visalli immediately began work addressing a record budget shortfall as a result of the Great Recession, working to find millions in savings and protect critical funding for the most vulnerable Delawareans. Her efforts have enabled the administration to support numerous key initiatives even while presiding over the lowest budget growth of the last 40 years. When adjusted for inflation and population, Delaware’s General Fund budget has actually shrunk.

“I cannot thank Ann enough for her service to the citizens of Delaware and her leadership of OMB – especially during such challenging times for our state’s budget,” said Governor Jack Markell. “Ann has never been afraid of a challenge and she certainly has overcome many since the start of my Administration, finding savings for taxpayers while maintaining key services, and ensuring we have invested in the areas like education and workforce training that are vital to our success in the new economy.”

“Ann’s extraordinary dedication to the job, her OMB team, and the state has resulted in a more efficient government and greater opportunities for the people of Delaware. She will be a great addition to the St. Andrew’s School, taking on a new role that is a natural extension of her career in public service.”

Prior to becoming Markell’s Deputy Treasurer and then OMB Director, Visalli began her career in public service at the Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families and in the Controller General’s Office in the General Assembly. She has been recognized by numerous organizations for her service and achievement, and has served in a number of leadership positions including for the Council of State Governments and the National Association of State Budget Officers. She holds both a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Delaware,

“It has been a privilege to serve the people of Delaware for as long as I have,” said Visalli. “I feel so fortunate and grateful to have had the opportunity to be OMB Director and that the Governor has had such confidence in me. It has been a team effort since day one. Any success I have had as OMB Director is a direct result of the support I receive from the Governor, the Cabinet, and my OMB family.”

Key accomplishments of Director Visalli and the OMB team include:

• Closing a state operating budget deficit after taking office in the middle of Fiscal Year 2009 through spending management and fiscal oversight and control, and then producing a balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2010 despite an $800 million revenue shortfall.

• Supporting the administration’s efforts to preserve the state’s AAA bond rating from all three rating agencies.

• Leading initiative to implement health and pension reform in state government to save taxpayers nearly $500 million over a 15-year period.

• Finding millions of dollars in additional savings for taxpayers:
o Organizing and managing a reduction in state workforce of over five percent through attrition and reallocation of resources rather than layoffs.
o Saving $12 million annually through retiree prescription program
o Reducing state fleet by 30 percent.
o Reducing expenses for state leased spaces by $5 million.
o Initiating and implementing automation of state’s federal grant process, moving from all paper files to electronic tablets.

• Producing balanced budgets each year of the Markell Administration that support investments in education, economic growth, and improved quality of life, including:
o Investing in strong schools:
 Increasing commitment to early learning programs by 33 percent, which was followed by an increase from 5 to 59 percent in the number of low-income students attending quality programs.
 Launching career pathways initiative, now known as Pathways to Prosperity, through which thousands of students gain workplace experience and college credit in key fields before graduation.
 Supporting schools to dramatically increase the number of students taking AP and college-level dual enrollment courses.
 Establishing world language immersion initiative through which more than 2,000 kindergarten through third graders are on track to become proficient in Mandarin Chinese or Spanish by fourth grade.
o Supporting economic growth in the state, which has seen the best job growth in the region:
 Supporting the Strategic Fund, with grant recipients exceeding job requirements by 25 percent, or more than 6,000 jobs
 Launching Downtown Development District program, which has leveraged less than $10 million into more than $160 million in private investment across all 3 counties
o Enhancing quality of life:
 Supporting more than $100 million in energy efficiency projects that reduce energy consumption in state and university buildings and schools, saving $1.3 million/year.
 Investing $33.8 million in library construction to increase available library space by 38% and public access computers by 63%, marking the greatest investment in the library system of any administration in state’s history.
 Ranking third most of any state in supporting the arts, according to a 2015 report.

• Reforming state procurement process to Improve transparency and expand business with diverse suppliers, including women, minority, and veteran-owned companies.

• Drafting and implementing policy to eliminate smoking on all state property.

As a result of a national search process, Visalli will become the first Chief Operating Officer at St. Andrew’s School. This new position will strengthen the School’s commitment to educational innovation and creativity.

“Ann, in the role of COO, will work closely with the Board of Trustees and me to inspire strategic thinking and planning and financial sustainability,” said Headmaster Daniel T. Roach, Jr.
Director Visalli is expected to end her 22 years of service to the State of Delaware in May. Governor Markell will nominate a successor for the consideration of the State Senate shortly.

St. Andrew’s is a leading and innovative independent school with transformational commitment to financial aid. Founded in 1929 by A. Felix duPont, St. Andrew’s has a tradition of academic excellence, a commitment to the spiritual and ethical cultivation of its students, and a history of educating young people for meaningful lives as engaged citizens and leaders.


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