White House: University of Michigan’s Ford School dean top pick for Fed banking regulator

Barr served in Obama administration from 2009-2010

Michael Barr. (Scott C. Soderberg, Copyright 2020 Michigan Photography)

ANN ARBOR – The White House has announced that President Joe Biden is intending to nominate University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy Dean Michael Barr for vice chair for supervision of the Federal Reserve.

Barr is a professor of both public policy and law at U-M and is the founder and faculty director of the school’s Center on Finance, Law & Policy.

“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,” President Biden said in a statement. “He was instrumental in the passage of Dodd-Frank, to ensure a future financial crisis would not create devastating economic hardship for working families.

“Barr has strong support from across the political spectrum—and has been confirmed by the Senate on a bipartisan basis. And, he understands that this job is not a partisan one, but one that plays a critical role in regulating our nation’s financial institutions to ensure Americans are treated fairly and to protect the stability of our economy.”

If chosen, he would step down as Ford School dean and take an unpaid leave of absence from U-M while keeping his faculty appointments, according to a release. After serving on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, he would return to Ann Arbor to teach.

Barr took a similar leave in 2009 and 2010 while he served as the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s assistant secretary for financial institutions in the Obama administration. He also previously served on the White House’s National Economic Council and served in various roles in the Clinton administration, including as a special advisor to Clinton. He also served as a law clerk in 1993 to U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter.

Barr serves as an advisor for numerous foundations and organizations, including the Kresge Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation FinTech Advisor Council and the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.

Barr, a Rhodes Scholar, holds both a J.D. and a B.A. from Yale University.

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.