Ricardo Kisner

2010 COB Alumnus of the Year


Ricardo Kisner (’74 COB) has spent much of the 30 years of his career serving local and regional government entities. After graduating from UM-Dearborn, Ricardo went on to earn his MBA from U-M Ann Arbor. A Certified Public Accountant, Ricardo was hired as chief financial officer for the Detroit Public Schools in 2009 as part of the financial turnaround team appointed by Governor Jennifer Granholm. In this capacity, he has implemented numerous initiatives and programs to strengthen internal controls, reduce costs, and improve the financial sustainability and accountability of the district’s operations. Through his leadership, Detroit Public Schools was able to reduce their deficit by more than $85 million.

Prior to this position, Ricardo served as the Chief Financial Officer for the Daytona Beach, Florida and Glenview, Illinois, and as Chief Accounting Officer and Director of Fiscal Operations for the Strategic Management Center in Detroit. Within his roles in Detroit, Ricardo developed the “New Start Governance Model”, which allowed for activity-based management, a lean government, and balanced scorecard methodologies. His guidance created a departmentalized structure, leading to success in municipal services, health and human services, economic development, and public safety.

He is a board member of the City of Detroit Local Development Finance Authority. As his colleagues say, “Ricardo is a true champion for the city of Detroit.”