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Richard Berner, Director, Office of Financial Research Richard Berner, Director, Office of Financial Research

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2013 Finance & Economy

Treasury Department

Richard Berner, Director, Office of Financial Research

Berner, 67, is in charge of one of the newest pieces of the country's regulatory puzzle: the Office of Financial Research, an organization within the Treasury Department that was created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank law. Its job is to gather and synthesize data and work with regulators to (hopefully) stop trouble in the financial system in its tracks—or at least blunt its impact. Berner came to Treasury in the spring of 2011 as a counselor to then-Secretary Timothy Geithner and was tasked with helping the fledgling OFR get off the ground. In December 2011, Obama nominated Berner to head the agency, but it took more than a year for him to be confirmed by a voice vote, which happened on Jan. 1, 2013, to a six-year term. How will Berner judge success in 2019? "If we measure those things that are most important to our understanding of the critical risks in the financial system," Berner told National Journal this spring. But he stressed the evolving nature of the office's work to understand the ever-changing financial system. "It's a journey, not a destination," he said. Prior to coming to Treasury, Berner was cohead of global economics at Morgan Stanley. He has held a number of positions on Wall Street and also worked on staff at the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors. Berner, who grew up in Brookline, Mass., received his A.B. from Harvard College and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

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