GFOA Scholarship Spotlight: Kelly Diaz

Kelly received the $20,000 Goldberg-Miller Public Finance Scholarship.

Image of Kelly Diaz

Kelly Diaz is a longtime resident of Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Kelly was hired as an accountant for the County of Delaware Controller’s Office in November 2018 and was promoted to a deputy position in March 2022. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature with a Minor in Business and Technical Writing from West Chester University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Maryland Global Campus. She is currently attending Villanova University to earn a Master of Public Administration degree and expects to graduate in August 2024. Kelly enjoys spending time with her husband and two children and plans to use her degree to continue improving the local community where her family resides.

Q & A with Kelly

Where and what are you currently studying, and why did you choose this?

My experience working for the County of Delaware (Pennsylvania) Controller’s Office and residing in one of the county’s forty-nine municipalities sparked my fascination with public administration.  I have witnessed local governments grapple with major changes in a very short time period, ranging from political shifts to pandemic recovery and a difficult labor market. My belief that ethical, professional management is vital in shepherding governments through such challenges led me to apply to Villanova University’s Master of Public Administration program in the summer of 2022. I expect to graduate from Villanova in August 2024.

What government are you working in or hope to work at in the future?

I have worked in the accounting department of the County of Delaware Controller’s Office since November 2018. In any task I handle, I am guided by the mission of the office to ensure appropriate use of taxpayer dollars.  I take pride in my work and hope to continue serving the County of Delaware for the foreseeable future.

What are your future career goals?

I value local government and the residents it serves. This calling to public service motivates me to aspire to a leadership position where I can provide stable direction as a public administrator.  I plan to cultivate an inclusive, collaborative working environment with team members who are dedicated to carrying out a central mission while recognizing proper stewardship of limited financial resources.

How will GFOA’s scholarship help you achieve those goals?

I was stunned and ecstatic when I learned the GFOA chose me as the recipient of the Goldberg-Miller Public Finance Scholarship.  This generous award will relieve a substantial burden of the cost of tuition and books and allow me to focus on continuing my education instead of worrying about how to pay for it. This scholarship also provides affirmation of my hard work in juggling the demands of graduate coursework, my full-time job, and raising two young children.