Governor Albert Bryan has announced Bosede Bruce as his pick for the Dept. of Finance six months after former commissioner Kirk Callwood resigned over a stipends/bonus scandal in October.
Mr. Bryan said he first met Ms. Bruce at the University of the Virgin Islands while in grad school, where he "recognized her extraordinary talent and ability to think and her tenacity." According to the governor, Ms. Bruce has more than 20 years of experience in accounting and financial reporting structure.
In brief remarks, Ms. Bruce stated, "I am excited and humbled that the governor has chosen me to serve the Virgin Islands community as part of the Department of Finance. It is time for me to be home, and I'm honored to represent the St. John community that nurtured me.
"I'm looking forward to taking a deep dive in learning the department in and out, and working with the staff. I look forward to a successful confirmation and a productive tenure."
Ms. Bruce will lead the department at a time when the USVI's treasury has been showing gains from economic activity being driven by a perfect storm of conditions: local stimulus payments and skyrocketing travel demand to the U.S. Virgin Islands as other destinations remain closed, and as mainland Americans — many looking to spend stimulus dollars — head to the USVI.
According to the Port Authority, the territory sees on average twenty-nine daily flights from the major airlines, with St. Thomas representing the lions's share of the traffic at twenty-four to St. Croix's five. Governor Bryan said Monday he expects the economic activity to continue well into next year before cooling. He also said the USVI had 30 days cash on hand as of Monday, and that's without accounting for federal Covid-19 aid dollars set to enter the USVI totaling $584 million.