Rebecca Rhynhart, City Controller
Rebecca Rhynhart made history in 2018 when she was sworn in as the first woman ever elected City Controller for the City of Philadelphia. As City Controller, Rebecca serves as Philadelphia’s chief auditor and independent financial watchdog. In that role, she uses the audit function to push for better management of the City’s finances, and works to identify cost savings, recommend best practices, and expose fraud and mismanagement. Under her leadership, the office is committed to transparency, accountability, and good government.
Since taking office, she has pressed the City to strengthen internal controls over financial reporting after finding Philadelphia has the worst internal controls of the top ten largest cities. She met with department heads to help them better understand departmental audit findings and recommendations to resolve them. Rebecca has taken on important performance audits, including the City’s sexual misconduct policies and procedures and the Philadelphia Parking Authority’s on-street parking expenses. She has also led the office’s work on issues that have a big impact on Philadelphians, like the City’s response to civil unrest following George Floyd’s murder, the on-going gun violence crisis and the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the office investigated the procurement process for the City’s new voting systems, which resulted in the City receiving its largest penalty payment in its history. As part of her commitment to good government, the office reviewed the diversity of the City’s exempt workforce, regularly released data sets about City spending, and more. In 2020, she was selected to join the Accelerator for America Advisory Council.
Rebecca brings both private sector and government experience to her role as City Controller. After working as a Director in the Public Finance Division of Fitch Ratings and as a Managing Director at Bear Stearns & Co., Rebecca left Wall Street to help improve Philadelphia, becoming City Treasurer in 2008. She moved on to serve as budget director, overseeing the City’s $4 billion general fund budget, as well as the budgets for Water, Aviation and Grant Funds. She then served as the Chief Administrative Officer for one year. However, in 2016 Rebecca determined that to make a difference in the way that she wanted, she needed to run for office.
Rebecca has a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts from Middlebury College. Originally from the Philadelphia region, Rebecca currently resides in Center City with her daughter and husband.