Employer: City of Milwaukee
After making a shift to virtual campaigning amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Aycha Sawa won her first political campaign in April when Milwaukee voters picked her to serve a four-year term as their next comptroller.
“It was uncharted territory,” Aycha said of running a virtual campaign.
Aycha is the first woman elected to the post that serves as the city’s chief financial officer and provides an independent check on city fiscal management.
"As comptroller, you are tasked with thinking about what is best for the city’s finances and how you accomplish that,” Aycha said. “I think it’s a really important role and the job responsibility is to the taxpayer.”
“It was a trial by fire” taking over the office but it came off without hiccups since Aycha knew the office’s ins and outs having joined the comptroller’s team in 2010, and the office had already begun shifting to remote operations. The most notable change “was just how many more emails I get as the actual comptroller.”
Aycha’s career in the office began as an auditor and she moved up the ranks landing at deputy comptroller 2017. Her boss, Martin Matson, decided to retire instead of seeking another term and that launched Aycha’s political run.
Aycha is a first-generation American whose parent came to the United States from Turkey. They eventually landed in Milwaukee where Aycha was born and grew up and spent lots of time attending Milwaukee Bucks games.
Outside of work, Aycha and her husband, Drew, are busy with a two-year daughter Mina, love spending time at the beach, and are passionate about the environment promoting composting and recycling. She currently dug into her book club’s latest endeavor “Notorious RBG.”
Aycha said she’s inherited a well-run office but one goal is to increase public accessibility and transparency for the public and taxpayers on the web. The office exercises fiscal control over 40 city departments and agencies, manages the city's $1 billion debt program, and she serves on the Wisconsin Center District and is a member of the Annuity and Pension Board.