Roger W. Ferguson Jr. to Join CFR as Distinguished Fellow

April 26, 2021 12:36 pm (EST)

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The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) will welcome Roger W. Ferguson Jr., who is retiring as president and CEO of TIAA, to its David Rockefeller Studies Program as the Steven A. Tananbaum Distinguished Fellow for International Economics starting on May 10, 2021. 

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At CFR, Ferguson will be researching, writing, and convening meetings on topics related to economics and the intersection of economics with foreign policy, and he will contribute to the overall work of the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies

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International Economics

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Under Ferguson’s leadership for the past twelve years, TIAA added nearly a million new retirement clients and more than doubled its assets to more than $1 trillion to become one of the world’s top asset managers. Ferguson steered TIAA, the leading provider of financial services in the academic, research, medical, cultural, and governmental fields, through the global financial crisis of 2008–09 and through the current pandemic.

Ferguson was formerly vice chairman of the board of governors of the U.S. Federal Reserve System. He represented the Federal Reserve on several international policy groups and served on various Federal Reserve System committees, including payment system oversight, reserve bank operations, and supervision and regulation. As the only governor in Washington, DC, on 9/11, he led the Fed’s initial response to the terrorist attacks, taking actions that kept the U.S. financial system functioning while reassuring the global financial community that the U.S. economy would not be paralyzed. 

Prior to joining TIAA in April 2008, Ferguson was head of financial services for Swiss Re, chairman of Swiss Re America Holding Corporation, and a member of the company’s executive committee. From 1984 to 1997, he was an associate and partner at McKinsey & Company. He began his career as an attorney at the New York City office of Davis Polk & Wardwell. 

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Ferguson is a member of the Smithsonian Institution’s board of regents and serves on the New York State insurance advisory board. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and co-chairs its commission on the future of undergraduate education. He is a fellow of the American Philosophical Society and a member of the Economic Club of New York, the Group of Thirty, and the National Association for Business Economics. 

He serves on the boards of Alphabet Inc.; Corning Inc.; General Mills, Inc.; and International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc. He also serves on the boards of the American Council of Life Insurers, the Conference Board, the Institute for Advanced Study, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Columbia University’s Teachers College.

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International Economics

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Ferguson served on President Barack Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness as well as its predecessor, the Economic Recovery Advisory Board, and he co-chaired the National Academy of Sciences’ committee on the long-run macroeconomic effects of the aging U.S. population. 

Ferguson holds a BA, JD, and a PhD in economics, all from Harvard University. 

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