Roger W. Ferguson Jr.: Former CEO of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA)


Roger W. Ferguson Jr. was born October 28, 1951 in Washington, D.C. U.S.A. He is an American economist, attorney and corporate executive who served as the 17th vice-chair of the Federal Reserve from 1999 to 2006.

From 2008 to 2021, he served as the president and CEO of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA), the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical, and cultural fields and a Fortune 100 financial services organization.

Growing Up

Ferguson was born October 28, 1951 in Washington, D.C. U.S.A. His father, Roger W. Ferguson Sr., was a middle-level government worker in the U.S. Army’s mapmaking office. His mother, Alberta Lawson Ferguson, taught at a public elementary school. Growing up in Washington’s Northeast section, Ferguson attended a public elementary school.


Ferguson is an alumnus of Harvard University where hereceived a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1973, a law degree in 1979, and a Ph.D. in economics in 1981. He was also a Frank Knox Fellow at Cambridge University from 1973 to 1974.

As an undergraduate at Harvard University, Ferguson studied economics and helped support himself by cleaning dormitory bathrooms. After graduating magna cum laude, he spent a year in England at Cambridge University’s Pembroke College.


Ferguson joined TIAA as President and CEO in 2008, having previously served as head of financial services for Swiss Re and chairman of that global reinsurance company’s America Holding Corporation. Prior to Swiss Re, he was Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the U.S. Federal Reserve System, which he joined in 1997.

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.

President Obama Economic Team

Between 2008 and 2012, Ferguson served as economic advisor to President Obama, initially as a member of the President-elect’s Transition Economic Advisory Board and subsequently as a member of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board and the President’s Commission on Jobs and Competitiveness.

Board Membership

Board of Directors

  • Alphabet (Google)
  • Brevan Howard Asset Management LLP
  • The Partnership for New York City

Board of Trustees

  • Institute for Advanced Study
  • Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • The New America Foundation
  • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. 


  • First African American vice chairman of Federal Reserve Board;

Personal Life

Ferguson is married to Annette Nazareth, a partner at Davis Polk & Wardwell. They have two children.

Roger W. Ferguson Jr.’s profile is part of our Black Excellence Series.

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