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Sheila Bair Heads to Pew Sheila Bair Heads to Pew

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Banking and Finance

Sheila Bair Heads to Pew

Outgoing FDIC chair will be a senior fellow at influential global NGO.

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Sheila Bair(Getty Images)

Sheila Bair, the aggressive outgoing chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, announced on Friday that she would start a new job at the Pew Charitable Trusts as a senior adviser in the fall.

Bair stepped down from the FDIC Friday after her term expired and said she plans to spend the summer with her family before she starts at Pew on September 7.

 

Bair is a Republican who was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2006 after serving as an assistant Treasury secretary and an aide under former Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole. She quickly became a favorite of Democrats on Capitol Hill, though, for her pro-consumer protection stances and quest to streamline mortgage modifications to head off foreclosures early in the housing crisis.

She was a strong advocate for financial reform and succeeded in convincing Congress to give the FDIC stronger powers to wind down a failing systemically significant firm.

Bair’s tenure has also been marked by her occupational need -- like all FDIC chairs -- to insulate the Deposit Insurance Fund. In that role she fought and won a battle to include in the Dodd-Frank financial reform law an amendment from Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, intended to strengthen bank capital standards by phasing out the allowance of trust-preferred securities. Bair also helped persuade Congress to change the law to charge big banks more for their size and risk by including a calculation of their assets, not just deposits, in their deposit insurance premiums.

 

President Obama has named longtime FDIC Vice Chairman Marty Gruenberg, a Democrat and former aide to retired Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md., to succeed Bair as chairman. But regardless of whether the Senate confirms him for the post, he begins serving as acting chairman immediately.

"It is with great pride that I leave the FDIC after the completion of my five-year term,” Bair said in a press release on Friday. “It has been a remarkable journey. I feel honored to have served two presidents and privileged to have led this great agency that worked so effectively to preserve confidence and stability in the banking system at a critical time."

"While I will truly miss the organization, I have the utmost confidence in Marty's stewardship of the FDIC and its unparalleled professional staff,” she added.

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