New Director of Finance and Operations – John Allen

What were you doing professionally prior to joining the staff at LSMSA?

Prior to joining LSMSA I was a senior budget analyst with the federal government for nearly eight years. I managed multi-million dollar public building budgets with the US General Services Administration in Chicago. In that role coordinated six budget analysts; trained other federal employees on governmental budget/finance; integrated Google into our reporting; and served as a legislative affairs specialist in Washington, DC.  During undergrad and graduate school I worked in university administration, residential life and admissions.

What colleges have you attended and what degrees did you obtain?
I obtained my BA in Political Science with a minor in History from LSU in 2002. In 2006 I obtained a Master in Public Administration degree with an emphasis on Public Management from the University of Illinois at Chicago. My goal is to further my education with a second masters in education.

Where were you raised? Tell us about your family.

I was raised in Lena, which is in between Natchitoches and Alexandria. I come from a pretty traditional Louisiana family. My mom lives in Alexandria, while my dad and stepmom live in Lena where I was raised. I have an older brother who lives near my dad. I have aunts, uncles and cousins spread over Louisiana and Texas.

What are your hobbies or interests outside of work?

I enjoy reading in my spare time. I’m a fan of science fiction, history and political works. Before moving back to Louisiana, I was training for the marathon and raised money for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. Being back in the state I will definitely take advantage of the outdoors and will eventually buy a home to remodel with the help of my dad. I enjoy going to the movies, traveling, and continuing my education.

As a student at LSMSA, did you ever imagine that you would one day return as a staff member?

According to my mother, I’ve always wanted to be either an instructor or administrator at LSMSA. When I graduated in 1998, I had a deep feeling that I would one day return to the school to be a part of something special. It’s an honor and privilege to serve the school.

What is your job title? What are your responsibilities?

I am the Director of Finance and Operations. I am responsible for the strategic planning, implementation, analysis, and appraisal of the school’s finances and operations. My job includes collaborating with the assistant director/comptroller, purchasing officer, coordinator of human resources, physical plant manager, IT systems staff, and maintenance and custodial personnel to make sure the school operates as efficiently and effectively as possible.

What is your favorite memory of LSMSA from your student days?

I have so many fond memories from my days as a Giftie. Besides enjoying the rigorous academic program, I was heavily involved with student government. I was both Junior Class VP and Senior Class President. I would have to say my biggest achievement was being crowned prom king!

How did the education you received at LSMSA prepare you for the real world?

My education at LSMSA prepared me in so many ways for the real world. Not only did it prepare me academically to succeed in both undergrad and graduate school, but the school allowed me to form a personal identity in a safe and nurturing environment. I learned that everyone is different and special in their own unique way and I’ve applied that realization to both my personal and professional lives. Also, I was taught that it’s important to give back to your community, state and nation through service. I hope to do that as an administrator here at the Louisiana School.

What are your goals for the future of LSMSA?

My ultimate goal is to continue to secure funding for the school’s operations for many years to come so future Louisiana scholars can enjoy the benefits of our unique state school. Other goals include the funding and construction of a new residence facility; incorporating more technology into the school’s operations; and, in the long-term, moving towards an environmentally sustainable campus.

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