SPEAKER | MC | FACILITATOR
As a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from August 2008 to August 2013, Elizabeth “Betsy” Duke served as Chair of the Federal Reserve’s Committee on Consumer and Community Affairs and as a member of its Committee on Bank Supervision and Regulation, Committee on Bank Affairs, and Committee on Board Affairs. With a straightforward style, Duke explains complex policy decisions in the language of the business leaders and bankers she has known her whole career. Her speeches shed light on the policies and decisions that have a rippling and profound impact on our economy, and she shares her insights for the economic future ahead.
Within a mere six weeks of her swearing in as a Fed Governor in 2008, crises brewed, with home lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac being taken into government conservatorship, Lehman failing and the Fed debating an $85 billion loan to AIG. The markets were bracing for a complete failure, and surely the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. Many experts credit swift and bold actions by the Fed for stopping the tailspin. Duke’s background in banking and lending proved invaluable for policy making during a financial crisis. Her working understanding of the retail banking industry shaped the decisions of the Fed during the crisis and the recovery as she became the Fed’s point person on housing, consumer and small business issues.
Prior to her appointment to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, Ms. Duke was a community banker moving up from part time teller to community bank CEO. She was chief operating officer of TowneBank from 2005 to 2008, and was an executive vice president at Wachovia Bank, N.A., (2004 to 2005) and at SouthTrust Bank (2001 to 2004) which was acquired by Wachovia in 2004. Ms. Duke also served as chief executive officer of Bank of Tidewater, which was acquired by SouthTrust, and chief financial officer of Bank of Virginia Beach. She served on the board of directors of the American Bankers Association from 1999 to 2006, becoming the first woman to serve as chair of the ABA in 2004, and as a member of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
Ms. Duke is a member of the Board of Directors of Wells Fargo & Company, where she serves on the board’s Risk Committee. She is currently an Executive-in-Residence at Old Dominion University located in Norfolk, Virginia.