Fannie Mae names Sheila Bair chair of their board of directors

Fannie Mae names Sheila Bair chair of their board of directors

Fannie Mae announced Wednesday that Sheila Bair, board member and former chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. during the financial crisis, will succeed Jonathan Plutzik as chair of Fannie Mae’s board of directors.

Bair joined the Fannie Mae board of directors in August 2019 and has served as a member of the community responsibility and sustainability committee, the nominating and corporate governance committee, and the risk policy and capital committee during her tenure.

“I am pleased and honored to be selected as chair of this outstanding board and grateful to Jonathan Plutzik for his leadership. This is a pivotal time for Fannie Mae, and I look forward to working collaboratively with my colleagues in service of our ultimate client, the public,” said Bair.

Plutzik will remain on the board of directors, where he has served for 11 years. Plutzik joined the board in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and served on the risk policy and capital committee, the strategic initiatives and technology committee, the compensation committee, and vice chair of the board prior to being named chair in 2018.

“Fannie Mae appreciates Jonathan’s strong leadership over the last 11 years. He played an integral role in our response to the coronavirus pandemic and has helped Fannie Mae improve its risk management capabilities, its governance, and meet important milestones as we work to exit conservatorship,” said Hugh Frater, chief executive officer.

Prior to Bair’s inauguration on the board of directors, she served as chair of the FDIC from 2006 to 2011, playing a key role in the country’s response to the financial crisis.

She would eventually leave the FDIC in 2011 to join Pew Charitable Trust as a senior advisor, a role she held from 2011 through 2015. Bair also served as president of Washington College from 2015 to 2017, and senior advisor to international law firm DLA Piper, from 2014 to 2015.

Bair has held a slew of other positions in the financial sphere, including assistant secretary for financial institutions at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, senior vice president for government relations of the New York Stock Exchange and commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

“Sheila is the perfect person to lead the Board and help guide the company as we continue to transition out of government control. She will help chart a course forward for the company while making sure we never forget our mission to support mortgage financing in a safe and sound manner,” Frater said.

“Sheila’s deep well of experience will provide strong leadership as Fannie Mae works with the Federal Housing Finance Agency to exit conservatorship while simultaneously fulfilling our mission to provide access to safe, affordable mortgage financing,” Plutzik said.

Regardless of whether Trump or Biden wins the presidential election, the FHFA confirmed on Thursday it will continue to work toward the milestones it laid out in its recently finalized Strategic Plan, which includes a responsible ending to the conservatorship of the GSEs.

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