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Sheila C. Bair has spent most of her life in public service, beginning with her career as a civil rights attorney in what was then the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. She then went on to serve in the U.S. Department of Treasury, the New York Stock Exchange, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Bair was the Research Director and Counsel to then-Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole from 1981 to 1988. Just prior to her current position, Bair was a professor of financial regulatory policy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
In 2006, Bair was appointed Chairwomen of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for a five-year term. Despite the current turbulent period in the financial sector, Bair’s innovations have transformed the FDIC with programs that focus on consumer protection and economic inclusion. Bair championed the creation of the Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion which researches small-dollar loan programs.
For her role as Chairwomen, Bair was named the second most powerful woman in the world by Forbes Magazine in 2008. She was also in Time Magazine’s “Time 100” list of the most influential people of 2009. Bair has received countless awards, including the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award and Author of the Month. Bair has written two children’s books, Rock, Brock, and the Savings Shock (2006) and Isabel’s Car Wash (2008), which teaches children about finances.
Bair holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Kansas and a J.D. from the University of Kansas School of Law.