Harry Black’s appointment as the new director of finance for Baltimore City brings to a close the nationwide search launched to fill the position vacated by Director Edward Gallagher, who retired last year after taking the position in 2005.

“We are excited to welcome Mr. Harry Black to City Hall as we work on the budget for the next fiscal year,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “He has big shoes to fill, but I am confident that he can provide the fiscal guidance and support city government needs as we develop strategies to grow Baltimore in the next decade. He is an experienced and capable leader.”

A Baltimore City native, Black grew up in the Park Heights neighborhood and holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Virginia, with his Bachelor’s degree in the same field at Virginia State University.

In his most recent position, Black served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Global Commerce Solutions, a company based in Washington D.C. that offers government services. Black has also served as chief financial officer for the City of Richmond from 2005 to 2008, where he oversaw municipal bond issuance and transactions. While serving in Richmond, Black also improved public accountability through programming he put in place himself, which led to greater transparency within the agency. Black has also served as Director of Budget and Finance for the Council of the District of Columbia.

“It is a great honor to be selected for the position of Finance Director for Baltimore city,” Mr. Black said in a release for press. “The City of Baltimore has a strong fiscal track record that I will do everything to uphold and build upon. I am especially excited to come back to Baltimore to serve in Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s administration and look forward to advancing her goal of growing the city.”

As director of finance, Black will be in control of maintaining the financial health of the city by way of creating strong policies and fiscal practices. Black will be head of all five bureaus of the finance department, which include Revenue Collection, Budget and Management Research, Accounting and payroll Services, Purchases, and Treasury Management.

Black is a member of the Government Finance Officers Association, a professional organization that focuses on better management of governments in the interest of the general public. He also currently serves on the Board of Visitors for Virginia State University, and is active in the National Forum for Black Public Administrators.

A 1981 graduate of Paul Laurence Dunbar Senior High School, Black is now married with two children. Formal approval of his position still awaits confirmation by the Baltimore City Council.

Alexis Taylor

AFRO Staff Writer