• Blackwell Mr. Blackwell began his service to HISD as their CAE and leader of the Office of Internal Audit in April 2017.  Internal audit is an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity that is designed to add value and improve an organization’s operations.  Internal Audit’s efforts help an organization to accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of governance, risk management, control processes.

    He began his internal audit career in 1982 with the Air Force Audit Agency and served them in various auditor and audit management roles for 10 years.  Since then, he held various audit management positions in business and government, culminating as an Audit Director for Parsons, an engineering, construction, and professional services firm.  He has lived and worked in three countries outside the U.S. and business travel has taken him to many locations across the U.S. and to various foreign countries.

    Mr. Blackwell is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Internal Auditor.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He also holds a master’s degree in Business Administration, a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree, and a Master of Laws degree.

Liping “Lee” Huang, Audit Support Services Manager

  • Ms. Liping “Lee” Huang joined the Houston Independent School District (HISD) in August 2018.  Her primary focus is conducting the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA)’s quality assurance and improvement program (QAIP) to assess the entire spectrum of audit and consulting work performed by the Office of Internal Audit.

    Prior to joined HISD, Lee worked and directed the SOX compliance program for a public held company.  She started off her career as a general accountant. During her professional tenure, she has worked for various industries including public accounting, oil and gas, healthcare, telecommunication, technology, governments and non-for-profit organizations.  Her previous employers included Medical Mutual of Ohio, Baker Hughes Incorporation and Alcoa.  She also worked with PwC, Ernst & Yong, KPMG and Deloitte and Touche for various audit projects. 

    She currently holds the Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) and Certified Internal Control Auditor (CICA).

John Gerwin, Construction Services Audit Manager

Dr. Tammi Mitchell, Educational Program Audit Manager

  • Dr. Tammi Mitchell has more than 20 years of experience in urban education, working in both traditional and public charter schools.  Dr. Mitchell’s career path has taken her across three states – South Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas – and she has served as a teacher, school counselor, campus administrator and an education consultant.  Dr. Mitchell has served at-risk and impoverished students at the elementary, middle, high school levels, and has provided an array of professional development and coaching assistance to educational professionals. 

    During Dr. Mitchell’s tenure, she has presented at national conferences; served as an educational columnist; and served as a national grant reviewer for the US Department of Education and the US Department of Justice.  Dr. Mitchell has also served as a consultant for the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools; the Office of Juvenile Justice Development Programs; the Office of Justice and Delinquency Programs; and, the National Institute of Justice.  She collaborated with educational leaders from across the country and provided a significant voice in discussions surrounding school readiness and emergency management, as well as the strategic development of youth mentoring programs.  Dr. Mitchell has held memberships with a variety of community committees, to include educational advisories and civic boards; served as an adjunct professor; and, is a published author.  

    Dr. Mitchell earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the College of Charleston in Charleston; a Master of Education degree from the University of South Carolina; and, a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Psychology from Oklahoma State University.


Afzal Kerawalla, Financial & Operational Audit Manager

  • An audit leader with all-around work experience of over 30 years in the field of Internal Audit (Operational, Financial and Information Systems), External Audit, Data Analytics, and Fraud Investigation, Enterprise Risk Assessment and Management, Business Process Review, and Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). This experience abounds across a wide range of industries (including 9 years in Big4 Public Accounting Firms) as well as various geographical locations. Academically, Afzal has attained several educational certifications, namely, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), among others.

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