President Barack Obama ’91 introduced Harvard Law School Professor Elizabeth Warren as his choice to head the steering committee of the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Warren will serve as an assistant to the president and as a special adviser to U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
The president made his announcement in the White House Rose Garden on Sept. 17. He praised Warren’s dedication, calling her “one of our country’s fiercest advocates for the middle class.”
“Long before this crisis hit, she had written eloquently, passionately, forcefully about the growing financial pressures on working families and the need to put in place stronger consumer protections,” Obama said. “And three years ago she came up with an idea for a new independent agency that would have one simple, overriding mission: standing up for consumers and middle-class families.” The president said Warren will “oversee all aspects of the bureau’s creation” and will “play a pivotal role” in picking her successor.
Said Martha Minow, dean of Harvard Law School: “There is no one as well equipped to advise the president and provide clear analysis and advocacy on consumer issues in this complex economy as Elizabeth Warren. Long before the onset of the current financial crisis, Elizabeth Warren saw the gathering storm, as more and more hardworking Americans were being forced into personal bankruptcy. She told us then what we’ve all learned since—that unfair lending practices and risky financial instruments were putting our national economy at risk. While we will miss her fiercely here, it is simply terrific that this superb member of the Harvard Law School faculty—supported by so many of her current and former students, and colleagues here and across the country—will assist the president and the Treasury secretary in setting up the new consumer finance regulatory body that was her brainchild. … With Elizabeth Warren’s help, our national economic recovery will proceed with serious commitment to reduce the risk of crisis in the future.”
Warren most recently served as chairwoman of the Congressional Oversight Panel, which was created in 2008—after the onset of the financial crisis—to oversee Congress’ use of the TARP money and to monitor bank bailouts.
Warren joined the Harvard Law School faculty in 1992 as the Robert Braucher Visiting Professor of Law and was named Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law in 1995. She has written more than a hundred scholarly articles and eight books, including best-sellers “The Two-Income Trap” and “All Your Worth,” both co-written with her daughter, Amelia Warren Tyagi.
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