Gateretse Makes it a Race in Ward 4
Geneva-born Hyattsville resident with a background as an economist, investment banker, and public health registers to run for City Council.
Ross Gateretse, the second Ward 4 candidate to register for this spring's Hyattsville City Council races, said that he hopes to change the tenor of council dialogue if elected.
"I really want to change Hyattsville," said Gateretse in an interview. "It needs some new guys in the council, where they can be very close. I was at the last council meeting, and I felt that there was a disconnect between the members. It was like they couldn't even look at each other, some of them."
In an interview, Gateretse, who will be facing off against Edouard Haba for the seat currently held by retiring City Councilor Carlos Lizanne (Ward 4), outlined a broad set of policy arenas which he said his campaign would focus on, including civic outreach to the city's immigrant and minority populations, crime reduction and business development.
"It kills me to see people going over to Silver Spring for entertainment," said Gatereste, who, like his opponent Haba, also speaks with a slight French accent which hints at international roots.
Gateretse, 40, was born and raised in Geneva, Switzerland. He was the youngest of seven children–six boys and one girl–born to his mother, a teacher, and his father, a cardiovascular surgeon.
Gateretse said he participated in a wide range of sports when he was younger, and professed a continuing love for skiing. He also dabbled in horseback riding and played semi-professional basketball for a Geneva athletic club when he was a teenager.
Gateretse, who speaks English, French and German (though he admits he is losing his German skills because of disuse), did his undergraduate and graduate studies at the Unviersity of Geneva, graduating in 1998 with a double masters in Economics and Public Health.
Gateretse then moved to New York City to attend the New York University Stern School of Business, where he earned an MBA in 2002. He stayed in New York to work as an investment banker for Soverign Bank from 2002 to 2009. According to his LinkedIn page, Gateretse also works an economist and public health executive for Global Health Strategies and is currently a doctoral candidate in public health from Johns Hopkins University.
Gateretse said he now works a public health inspector for the District of Columbia Department of Health, a position which is not reflected on his LinkedIn page.
"In my career as a banker, I learned how to sell," said Gateretse, explaining how his professional background could be an asset within the halls of local government. "As a good salesperson, you listen to what they are saying. It is same with the city. The leadership systems sometimes never work, but if you have a system in place for assuring quality products and services, things get taken care of."
Gateretse moved to Hyattsville more than four years ago, and he lives at 2900 Lance Drive.
More than half of Hyattsville's City Council seats are up for election, with one from each of the city's five wards, plus an additional seat up for election created by the resignation of former Councilor Nicole Hinds Mofor (Ward 4). The election will be held on Tuesday, May 7, 2013.