City manager P. Lamont Ewell has announced the appointment of Carol Ogden Swindell as finance director in Santa Monica, effective Friday, January 12th.

Swindell — selected following a nationwide recruitment by the executive search firm Teri Black & Co. — replaces Steve Stark, who took a position in Pasadena in September.

She has a strong background in government finance and information technology, and served most recently as director of administrative services for the City of Walnut Creek, overseeing a $97 million budget and supervising 30 employees, Ewell said.

Prior to that, she was director of financial services and chief financial officer for the City of Oceanside for three years, managing a $250 million budget and supervising 60 employees.

“Santa Monica is lucky to find someone with the range of financial skills and public sector experience that Carol offers and these attributes will greatly enhance our city’s fiscal position,” Ewell said, in confirming Swindell’s appointment. “Further, her management style is oriented to collaboration and customer service.

“She is highly effective in training and motivating staff, and will ensure that the city organization is appropriately focused on sound financial practices, budget development and fiscal oversight, so that the community is properly served. I’m eager to have Carol join our team.”

Swindell has been credited with implementing major changes in the Walnut Creek’s budget process, including changing from a 24-month budget to two 12-month budgets to improve control, and adding performance measures.

At Oceanside, she was re- sponsible for development of a multiyear strategic plan to improve service delivery, as well as the city’s first financial trends analysis and long-term financial plan as a framework for budget development.

“Santa Monica is a beautiful, vibrant and progressive community, and its city government is recognized as one of the best in the country,” Swindell said. “I’m thrilled and honored to have been selected to become a member of the city team.”

Swindell has served as assistant manager for financial and management services for James City County, Virginia, as director of finance for the City of Poquoson, Virginia, as internal auditor for The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Williamsburg, Virginia and as an auditor for Cooper & Lybrand in Newport News, Virginia.

Swindell holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business from The College of William and Mary, and is certified as a public accountant, internal auditor and public finance officer.