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The University of Michigan has tapped Geoffrey Chatas as its next chief financial officer and executive vice president. Chatas, currently the chief operating officer at Georgetown University, will begin a five-year appointment on Oct. 1. 

Chatas will oversee 45 business and finance departments at the University, including investments, finance, human resources and facilities & operations. He replaces interim CFO Brian Smith, who served for several months after former CFO Kevin Hegarty concluded a 42-year career in April. 

Chatas held leadership positions at private investment firms such as JPMorgan before serving as The Ohio State University’s chief financial officer from 2010 to 2018. He has overseen finances at Georgetown since 2018. 

An Ann Arbor native, Chatas is a graduate of Georgetown, Oxford University and INSEAD, a global nonprofit university. 

Chatas brings experience in carbon neutrality initiatives to the University. He guided OSU to an $1.165 energy partnership with Engine-Axium, now called Ohio State Energy Partners, according to OSU’s student newspaper The Lantern. The partnership was emulated by other universities attempting to reduce carbon emissions and energy costs, according to the University Record. 

Currently, the University has committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2040.

In addition, Chatas oversaw the privatization of the OSU parking system for $483 million in 2012, the first contract of its kind at a university. The Lantern described the parking deal and other public-private partnerships reached under Chatas as “controversial,” due to nondisclosure of the amount of money earned from the deal. 

In a release, University President Mark Schlissel said he’s excited for Chatas to advise him and the Board of Regents on the challenges facing the University and society at large. 

“His depth of experience and proven skills make him ideally suited for the responsibilities of (his role),” Schlissel said.

Regent Jordan Acker (D), chair of the board, said in the release that the regents look forward to working with him.

“I am thrilled to have someone with the experience in higher education, along with the talent and vision that Mr. Chatas possesses,” Acker said.

Daily News Editor Calder Lewis can be reached at