Ford School Dean Michael Barr confirmed by US Senate as Fed’s top banking regulator
The U.S. Senate has confirmed Michael S. Barr, dean of the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, as vice chair for supervision and governor of the Federal Reserve Board. Barr was nominated for the role by President Biden in May.
In the role, which was created as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, Barr will be responsible for developing policy recommendations for the Federal Reserve Board and for overseeing the supervision and regulation of the largest U.S. financial institutions.
Barr was confirmed with strong bipartisan support, with two-thirds of the U.S. Senate voting in support of his nomination. Earlier, he had been reported out of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on a bipartisan basis by a vote of 17-7, with all Democrats, led by Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), voting yes, as well as five Republicans, including Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), the ranking minority member on the committee.
Barr’s term as the Fed’s vice chairman of supervision runs for four years, and his term on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors runs through 2032.
Barr is the Joan and Sanford Weill Dean of the Ford School, the Frank Murphy Collegiate Professor of Public Policy, the Roy F. and Jean Humphrey Proffitt Professor of Law at the Law School, and founder and faculty director of U-M’s Center on Finance, Law & Policy. At the Law School, he taught financial regulation and international finance, and co-founded the International Transactions Clinic and the Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project.
Barr served in President Barack Obama’s administration as the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s assistant secretary for financial institutions, and was a key architect of Dodd-Frank.
During the Clinton administration, he served as Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin’s special assistant, as deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury, as special adviser to President Bill Clinton, and as a special adviser and counselor on the policy planning staff at the U.S. Department of State.
Barr was a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter, and previously to Pierre Leval, then a judge of the Southern District of New York. He received his law degree from Yale University; a master’s degree in international relations as a Rhodes Scholar from Magdalen College, Oxford University; and a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, with honors in history, from Yale.
Barr will take an unpaid leave of absence from the University of Michigan, retaining his faculty appointments in public policy and law, and planning to return to the faculty after serving his term on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.
U-M Provost Laurie McCauley will name an interim dean for the Ford School, to serve while the university conducts a search for the new dean.
Read Barr’s letter to the Ford School community about his first term as dean, from the spring 2022 issue of State & Hill.
Watch Barr’s May 2022 nomination hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.