Meet the Newest Face on The Board of Governors

The Democratic-led Senate approved the newest member of the Federal Reserve’s System Board of Governors last Friday, making Elizabeth A. Duke the seventh woman to become a member of the board since the board was formed in 1913.

Elizabeth Duke
Elizabeth Duke

Although little is known about Duke's views on interest-rate policy, her banking background of over 32 years could help at a time when the financial system is being hit by rising mortgage defaults.

Prior to her appointment to the Board, Duke served as chief operating officer of TowneBank in Portsmouth, Va. She also served as the chairman for the American Bankers Association, as the director for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, and as executive vice president of Wachovia.

In a hearing before the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs last August, Duke said she looked forward to reviewing any research or work the Fed is already doing regarding subprime lending regulations and guidance. She also said she wants to take a leadership position in the “modernization of the rules and regulations governing payments.”

“I don’t believe we can solve the subprime issue without cooperation and coordination across the full spectrum of regulation, supervision and enforcement of all mortgage loan participants,” she told the Committee.

President Bush nominated Duke in May of 2007. Duke’s term will end January 31, 2012.