Geoffrey S. Chatas leads all financial activities and oversees a $5 billion annual budget for The Ohio State University as its chief financial officer and senior vice president of business and finance. Since joining Ohio State in 2010, he has focused on innovative funding approaches to support the university’s academic mission without relying on tuition or taxpayers.
Highlights of his leadership include:
- A $483 million lease of the university’s parking operation that so far has generated more than $100 million for student scholarships, faculty positions and other priorities. [Details at innovativefunding.osu.edu]
- A streamlining strategy that has saved $190 million over five years by strategic use of master vendors for goods and services.
- Affinity partnerships that generate $20 million a year, plus benefits such as job and internship opportunities for students and discounts for the university community.
- The sale of $500 million in century bonds to lock in low-interest financing for 100 years. Ohio State was the first public university to issue 100-year bonds.
Chatas is also an ex-officio member of the Wexner Medical Center board and has been part of the leadership council focused on efficiencies there. Chatas is a financial executive with significant experience in higher education, power, aviation, and banking. He was named CFO of the Year in 2012 by Columbus Business First, which also recognized the century bond sale as Transaction of the Year. Also in 2012, Geoff served on a Fulbright-sponsored delegation of U.S. CFOs to Germany to study lean management practices in higher education.
Chatas was appointed Senior Vice President for Business and Finance and Chief Financial Officer at The Ohio State University in February 2010. He oversees all of the fiscal activities for both the Ohio State University and the Wexner Medical Center, the university’s academic medical center.
Chatas came to Ohio State from JP Morgan Asset Management, where he was Managing Director for the Infrastructure Investments Group. Prior to JP Morgan, he spent most of his career focused on the energy and aviation sectors. As CFO at Progress Energy, he was responsible for corporate development, including asset acquisition and disposition, and while at American Electric Power (AEP), he was responsible for corporate and project finance and directed investments in infrastructure assets in North America, Europe, and Asia. He oversaw the financial aspects of AEP’s investments in infrastructure assets, including electricity generation and distribution assets in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia. Prior to joining AEP, Chatas worked in the banking industry.
Chatas received a master’s degree in Business Administration in 1990 from INSEAD, an international business school in France, a master’s degree in History in 1988 from Oxford University in the United Kingdom and a bachelor’s degree in Economics and History in 1985 from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.