Commission Bios

Service Information

Ammar Rizki, Chairman

Ammar Rizki was appointed chief financial officer of Cook County in September 2017 having previously served as deputy chief financial officer for almost four years. In that role, he helped devise and implement a multi-year financial plan to ensures that County’s debt and pension obligations grow no more than 2%, which is the Federal Reserve’s forecast long term inflation, ensuring manageable growth without unnecessary burden on County operations

Additionally, Rizki managed the functional implementation of the Countywide Enterprise Resource Planning System to modernize and update the County’s antiquated financial administration systems, resulting in streamlining of financial processes, improved reporting and increased productivity.

Rizki has a diverse background in municipal finance, having started his work for Cook County starting in 2010 as deputy revenue director, where he led initiatives to modernize the department of revenue’s operations, improve tax compliance and increase taxpayer education. Prior to that he held a number of managerial and analytic roles in banking and investment management.

Rizki holds an M.B.A from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and a B.Sc. in Finance from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Dr. David Merriman

David Merriman is the Stukel Presidential Professor in the Dept. of Pub. Admin., Univ. of Illinois at Chicago & a Senior Scholar at the Inst. of Gov't and Public Affairs.  He has done many studies on state and local public finance. Topics include Walmart’s impact on local retail markets, tax increment finance, business tax incentives, property tax assessment caps, and state budget policies. He serves as an associate editor of Economic Development Quarterly. He frequently advises elected officials and their staffs and is frequently quoted in the media. H has served on the Illinois Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors under Governors Quinn, Rauner and Pritzker. He received a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Dr. Paula R. Worthington

Paula R. Worthington is a Senior Lecturer at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, where she also serves as academic director of the School’s Policy Labs program and faculty lead on its MPP program.  She is consistently recognized for excellence in teaching, having received nine teaching awards since joining Harris in 2004.  While on leave from Harris in 2017-2018, Worthington served as senior economist at the Council of Economic Advisers in Washington, D.C.   

Worthington’s interests are in state and municipal fiscal policies.  She is currently co-chair of the Metropolitan Planning Council’s Transportation Committee and a member of the state of Illinois’s Budgeting for Results Commission.  Worthington received her PhD in economics from Northwestern University in 1988, and prior to joining Harris, she served in numerous positions at the Federal Reserve Banks of New York and Chicago and at Northwestern University.