A Vice Chair for Supervision of the Federal Reserve Who Will Fight for Financial Inclusion and Economic Security

Lisa Mensah, President and CEO, Opportunity Finance Network

Michael Barr would make an exceptional Vice Chair for Supervision of the Federal Reserve. 

Today President Biden released a statement on his intent to nominate Michael Barr for this position, stating, “Barr has spent his career protecting consumers, and during his time at Treasury, played a critical role in creating both the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the position for which I am nominating him. He was instrumental in the passage of Dodd-Frank, to ensure a future financial crisis would not create devastating economic hardship for working families. ” 

Having known Michael for more than 25 years, I know President Biden’s words to be true. When I first met him, Michael was working in the Clinton Treasury helping to secure the early days of the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, and taking on the ire of mainstream banks by promoting a simple “first account” to reach the poorest Americans.  

Over these past decades, Michael has been a consistent advocate for the most vulnerable in the financial system. He kept this focus even when charged with helping to restore faith in the mainstream financial sector as a leader in the Obama Treasury. 

Michael knows the needs of the community development finance field and how much the country needs the formal financial system to partner with us. Sadly in 2022, fighting for the unbanked is unfinished work. I am confident Michael Barr would be a Vice Chair for Supervision of the Federal Reserve who will take up this task with focus, intellect, and heart. 
Michael knows it is time for banks that benefit from the protections of public policy to redouble their commitments to operating financial institutions that are financially sound and fair in their practices to all consumers. Michael Barr has the knowledge of the work and the knowledge of the partners who are all needed now to build back better. We need him as Vice Chair for Supervision of the Federal Reserve.