In January 2010, inspired by his desire to help build a stronger Los Angeles, Austin Beutner took a full-time position as the City’s First Deputy Mayor and Chief Executive for Economic and Business Policy. Working for a salary of $1.00 per year, he dedicated himself to bringing an innovative “doing more with less” approach to solving some of the City’s largest economic problems.
At a time when many LA residents and businesses are suffering from the impact of the nationwide recession, Austin sought to make changes to City government that would reinvigorate the local job market.
Together with a team of experienced private sector professionals, Austin built a culture of service and coordination in which his office proactively offered support to LA’s employers. He then implemented important policy changes to attract dynamic, job-creating companies to the City. Additionally, he refocused the City’s efforts towards small and local businesses, offering support to help them thrive even in a difficult economy.
Shortly after assuming the position of First Deputy Mayor, Austin was also asked to serve as Interim General Manager of the LADWP, where he cut $263 million from that agency’s budget in order to protect Angelenos from a rate increase.
Austin’s commitment to tackling difficult challenges dates back to his youth in Grand Rapids, Michigan. One of three children of Roger Beutner, an immigrant manufacturing engineer, and Marcia Beutner, a retired public school teacher, Austin worked hard from an early age. Whether washing dishes at a local restaurant, driving a delivery truck, or starting his own lawn-mowing business, Austin developed a knack for rolling up his sleeves. After attending public schools his entire life, Austin attended Dartmouth College where he graduated with an Economics degree in 1982.
Austin spent his early career working in the financial industry. At age 29, Austin became the youngest person ever to become a partner at Blackstone, one of the world’s leading advisory firms. He went on to co-found the investment banking firm Evercore Partners with former Deputy Treasury Secretary Roger Altman. As President and Co-Chief Executive Officer, he helped build Evercore into a global powerhouse with offices in the U.S. and around the world.
Austin is an ardent student of practical economics and has always been interested in helping great ideas become effective, real-world policies. This passion led him to accept a position with the U.S. State Department serving the Clinton Administration in Russia. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, he led a team that helped the new Russia transition to a market economy.
Currently, Austin serves as Chairman of the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on the Downtown Events Center, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), Co-Chairman of the CalArts Community Arts Partnership, Chairman of the Board for The Broad Stage, Chairman of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, and as Chairman of the Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation, which he founded.
Austin moved to Los Angeles because he loves the City and the diverse, creative-minded culture that makes it unlike anywhere else in the world. He and his wife have four children, who consider themselves proud, native Angelenos.