New finance director ready for job

Marquita Davis is the state's new finance director.
Marquita Davis is the state's new finance director.

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Governor Robert Bentley gave a current cabinet member a promotion in his decision to replace Department of Finance Director David Perry.

He tapped Marquita Davis, the Commissioner of the Department of Children's Affairs, a position she's held since 2008.

When she asked the governor at one point recently, "What do you have in mind" regarding her future in state government, Gov. Bentley told her he wanted her to be his next finance director.

Davis' response was "really?"

Gov. Bob Riley initially tapped Davis for the Children's Affairs post during his second term and Bentley chose to keep her on the team when he crafted his cabinet in January.

Davis says touted her successful track record in finding alternative revenue sources in order to run her department after lawmakers zeroed it out in the General Fund several years ago.

"I understand the process of writing and securing grants and capital fundraising" Davis said.

Born in Illinois, Davis made her way south after her graduation from Northern Illinois University. She attended Alabama A&M University where she earned a Masters in Family Studies. She finished her academic career at the University of Alabama at Birmingham where she earned a Ph.D in Early Childhood Education and Child Development.

Davis says even though her background is not in the legal or financial fields the she knows difficult budget decisions are on the way.

"We have to identify the difference between what the state needs to sustain itself and what it wants" Davis said.

She will replace the current Director of the Department of Finance, David Perry, who has held a spot in the office since the Riley administration. Gov. Bentley promoted Perry to Director when he took office.

Gov. Bentley had a sort of administrative shake-up in the past month sparked by his appointment of former Chief of Staff Chuck Malone to Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.

Perry was appointed as Malone's replacement which led to Bentley selecting Davis for the Finance Department position.

Despite being a member of her second GOP administration, Davis classifies herself as a political independent who doesn't pledge allegiance to either the Republican or Democratic parties.

"I don't feel comfortable being aligned to any certain group" Davis said. "That's just kind of how I am. I think I have to be very thoughtful about all the decisions I make the affect the state and affect the country."

She will take over for former Director David Perry once he assumes the Chief of Staff position later this month.

Copyright 2011 WSFA. All rights reserved.