The George Mason University’s Center on State and Local Leadership has named RSI Board Member James Spiotto State & Local Leader of the Week. Read more from the program's weekly eNews letter below. To learn more about GMU's Center on State and Local Leadership, click here.

State & Local Leader of the Week 

Our State & Local Leader of the Week is James E. Spiotto, a long-time critical advocate for tools to help cities, counties, public school districts, and states to address severe fiscal distress. He is the Managing Director of Chapman Strategic Advisors LLC, a consultancy providing educational and strategic insights to market participants concerning municipal finance topics of interest and the co-owner and co-publisher of, an online resource specializing in municipal-related research and information concerning state and local government, including public finance, infrastructure, job market data, and economic statistics and analysis.

Mr. Spiotto played the pivotal role in the enactment of the municipal bankruptcy reforms signed into law by former President Ronald Reagan in 1988—he has a long and storied career representing municipalities, including testifying both in federal bankruptcy courts and before the United States Senate and House Judiciary Committees in conjunction with the amendments to the Bankruptcy Code involving Municipal Bankruptcy. Jim has contributed significantly to thought leadership around municipal defaults and bankruptcy, including co-authoring the volume The Law of State and Local Government Debt Financing (Thompson West), authoring chapters on municipal defaults and bankruptcy in The Handbook of Municipal Bonds (Sylvan Feldstein and Frank Fabozzi, editors, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.), and authoring a chapter on financial emergencies: default and bankruptcy in the Oxford Handbook of State and Local Government Finance (Robert D. Ebel and John E. Peterson, editors).

Mr. Spiotto is also an author of Municipalities in Distress?, published by Chapman and Cutler LLP and available from and Primer on Municipal Debt Adjustment, published by Chapman and Cutler LLP and available upon request from the firm. In May 2014, the National Federation of Municipal Analysts honored Jim with an award for his contributions as a thought leader within the municipal bond industry: he was recognized for his “prominent voice” on the topic of municipal bankruptcy and his years of groundbreaking research and analysis that have long aided state and local leaders on the critical intricacies of Chapter 9 bankruptcy.