June 28, 2024

Roger W. Ferguson Jr.: Former vice chair of the Federal Reserve and CEO

Roger W. Ferguson Jr. is the first African American to be appointed as
Roger W. Ferguson Jr.: Former vice chair of the Federal Reserve and CEO
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Roger W. Ferguson Jr.�(born October 28, 1951) is an American economist, attorney, and corporate executive who served as the 17th�vice chair of the Federal Reserve�from 1999 to 2006, becoming the first African American to hold the position. In 2008, he was named president and chief executive officer of TIAA-CREF (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund), the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical, and cultural fields.

Ferguson is currently serving as the Steven A. Tananbaum Distinguished Fellow for International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations and the Pembroke Visiting Professor of International Finance at Cambridge Judge Business School. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the American Philosophical Society and a member of the Economic Club of New York and the Group of Thirty.

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Early Childhood

Ferguson was born on October 28, 1951, in Washington, DC. 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. He eventually transferred to Sidwell Friends School, a private institution catering to Washington's elite.�


Ferguson is an alumnus of Harvard University where he received a B.A.�in�economics�magna cum laude�in 1973, a�J.D.�cum laude�in 1979, and a�Ph.D.�in economics in 1981. From 1973 to 1974, he attended�Pembroke College�at�Cambridge University�on a�Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship.

Early Career

Ferguson started his career as an attorney at the New York law firm of Davis, Polk, and Wardell, where he specialized in banking matters. From 1984 to 1997, he was an Associate and Partner at McKinsey & Company. He rose to become a partner at McKinsey and director of research and information systems, a position that required him to oversee a staff of 400 research professionals and manage McKinsey's investments in information technology.

Swiss Re America Holding Corporation

�Ferguson oversaw the American company's property and casualty reinsurance business, which was based in Armonk, New York. He also was named a member of the company's executive board. Only months later Ferguson was appointed head of Swiss Re's financial services division.

Federal Reserve

Ferguson served as Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the U.S. Federal Reserve System. He was a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee, served as Chairman of the Financial Stability Forum, and chaired Federal Reserve Board committees on banking supervision and regulation, payment system policy and reserve bank oversight.

Ferguson was the only Federal Reserve Governor in Washington, D.C., during the�September 11 attacks�in 2001. He was responsible for leading the Federal Reserve's initial response to the terrorist attacks, keeping the U.S. financial system functioning and reassuring the global financial community that the U.S. economy would remain strong.


Ferguson steered TIAA through the global financial crisis of 2008-2009 and moved early at the onset of the pandemic to implement remote work for 17,000 global employees. He served as the president and CEO of TIAA-CREF from 2008 to 2021. TIAA-CREF and Ferguson made history by becoming the first fortune 500 company to have two Black CEO in a row. Roger W. Ferguson Jr. handed over to Thasunda Brown Duckett.

TIAA is the first company in Fortune 500 history to have two Black CEOs in a row.

Ferguson was a member of President Obama�s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. In 2009 he was named to the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board and in 2011 to its successor, the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

Board Membership

  • Alphabet, the Institute for Advanced Study, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Corning, International Flavors and Fragrances, Notarize, Klarna, and Blend.


  • Steven A. Tananbaum Distinguished Fellow for International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations�


  • First African American vice chairman of Federal Reserve Board;
  • Only Federal Reserve Governor in Washington DC;�

Personal Life

Roger W. Ferguson Jr.�is married to Annette LaPorte Nazareth and they have two children.

Roger W. Ferguson Jr.�s profile is part of our Black Excellence Series.\\Looking to build your successful tech Startup?�Join our 12-week cohort�of tech startups for Black founders by Black industry experts.

June 28, 2024
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