Assistant Town Manager, Town of Bluffton, South Carolina
As Assistant Town Manager, Chris is responsible for Finance, Human Resources, Municipal Court, Economic Development and the Town’s incubator, the Don Ryan Center for Innovation. Chris is also instrumental to maintaining intergovernmental agreements and town wide contracts, strategic planning, and policy development.
Prior to his current role, Chris was the Controller for the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) system, responsible for system wide financial policy and financial reporting of the system’s 17 public colleges and universities. Before taking on the role as CSCU Controller, Chris was Director of Agency Business Services (ABS) of the State of Oklahoma. He was responsible for the development of Oklahoma’s shared financial services group and the expansion of shared services to agencies, boards and commissions statewide. While working for the state, Chris also served as Fiscal Director to Oklahoma’s Chief Information Officer (CIO). In this role he helped implement a statewide consolidation of IT services and infrastructure.
Chris received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science, a Master of Public Administration and a Graduate Certificate in Public Financial Management from the University of Connecticut. He holds the Certified Public Finance Officer (CPFO) designation from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) and the Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) designation from the Association of Government Accountants (AGA). Chris completed the GFOA’s Advanced Government Finance Institute in 2013 and currently serves on the GFOA’s national Committee on Economic Development and Capital Planning.
Chris lives in Bluffton, South Carolina. He serves as Treasurer on the Board of BlacQuity, a local non-profit that works to promote, elevate and empower black-owned businesses in pursuit of equity in the local economy. He is also an active member of the Bluffton Rotary. His wife, Dr. Jessica Forster, owns a mobile veterinary practice called Fetch A Vet. They have three children; Delilah, Amelia and Luke.
“I would encourage MPA students to fully embrace all the analytical concepts taught in the program and to truly develop their objective thought process,” Chris states. “The public sector is rapidly changing as a result of diminishing resources. Your success in public administration will depend on your ability to use these concepts and tools to help re-shape how public organizations think and operate.”