Ha To

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Title: Finance specialist III

Firm: Los Angeles City Administrative Office

Age: 35

Ha To has worked for Los Angeles’ debt management office since 2008, where she assists in the management and administration of the city’s $5.5 billion debt portfolio.

Ha said she was drawn to a career in public finance because of a desire to give back to the city she grew up in.

“As an issuer, it is satisfying to see a capital project start out as an idea on paper and transform into a permanent asset in the community,” she said.

Prior to her time in the CAO’s office, Ha worked as a management assistant in the city’s Department of Public Works in the Bureau of Sanitation for a year and as an accountant for Riverside, Calif.’s California Redevelopment Agency, also for a year.

She views the changing enforcement and disclosure environment as a big issue for the industry, and said that, as an issuer, she is worried about the unintended burden on local governments.

Ha described herself as a foodie, who enjoys trying new local restaurants. She also makes “a conscious effort to reduce my carbon footprint by recycling, container gardening, vermicomposting, and by living car-free.”

Ha is a board member and philanthropy chair of the Women in Public Finance-LA Chapter and a board member of Asian Americans in Public Finance. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of California in 2005.

“Ha is respected and well-liked at the City and with the public finance professionals that the City works with on its financing programs. Her collaborative approach facilitates effective and efficient working groups. She is a hands-on professional with a strong work ethic and the highest commitment to quality. Her ability to lead and analyze complicated bond financings to meet the City's infrastructure needs has moved the City forward in its capital program.” Natalie Brill, Chief of Debt Management, City of Los Angeles, Office of the City Administrative Officer

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