Jacques Jiha was appointed commissioner of the New York City Department of Finance by Mayor Bill de Blasio on April 8, 2014. In this role, Commissioner Jiha is responsible for leading an agency that collects more than $40 billion annually in revenue for the city and assesses over 1.1 million properties with a total combined value of $1.3 trillion. Dr. Jiha also serves as interim chair and CEO of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.
Commissioner Jiha and his team have introduced a culture of continuous improvement to the Department of Finance. Of particular focus has been the agency’s use of technology and process re-engineering, as DOF has evolved from a data-rich to a data-driven organization which utilizes sophisticated data analytics and artificial intelligence, in particular cognitive and machine learning, to mitigate operational risks, reduce inefficiencies, and make better decisions in the areas of property valuation, tax audit and collection, fraud prevention, and more.
Commissioner Jiha has led the transformation of the Department of Finance into a dynamic, forward-looking, and customer-centric agency. Under his leadership, the City has reformed and modernized its corporate tax laws, reducing taxes for many small businesses, and DOF has introduced many new services for its customers, including a full-service call center, new online property and business tax systems, the award-winning parking ticket Pay or Dispute mobile app, and the offices of the Taxpayer Advocate and Parking Summons Advocate.
Prior to becoming commissioner of the Department of Finance, Dr. Jiha was the chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Earl G. Graves, Ltd., a multi-media company with properties in print and digital media. Previously, he served as deputy comptroller for pension investment and public finance in the Office of the New York State Comptroller. As the state’s chief investment officer, he oversaw the New York State Common Retirement Fund, then valued at $120 billion, New York’s College Savings Program, and the state’s short-term investment pool. Prior to this, Commissioner Jiha served as deputy comptroller for Nassau County, chief economist for the New York City Office of the Comptroller, executive director of the New York State Legislative Tax Study Commission, and principal economist for the New York State Assembly Committee on Ways and Means.
Commissioner Jiha holds a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in economics from the New School for Social Research and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Fordham University.