Jelena McWilliams has been sworn in as the 21st Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). She succeeds Martin J. Gruenberg, who has served on the FDIC Board since August 22, 2005, as Vice Chairman and Acting Chairman before becoming Chairman on November 29, 2012.
Prior to joining the FDIC Board, Ms. McWilliams was executive vice president, chief legal officer, and corporate secretary for Fifth Third Bank, Cincinnati, Ohio. Prior to Fifth Third Bank, she worked with the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs as chief counsel and deputy staff director. While at the banking committee, McWilliams reportedly worked on, among other issues, the implementation of and efforts to rework or repeal the 2010 Dodd-Frank banking-regulation reform act.
She also served as assistant chief counsel with the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. Prior to working for the Senate, Ms. McWilliams served as an attorney at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.
Before entering public service, she practiced corporate and securities law at Morrison & Foerster LLP, Palo Alto, California, and Hogan Lovells LLP, Washington, D.C.
Ms. McWilliams received a Bachelor of Science degree in political science and a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley.
Ms. McWilliams was appointed to serve as Chairman of the FDIC for a term of five years and a six-year term on the FDIC Board of Directors.
Born Jelena Obrenic in Serbia in the former Yugoslavia, McWilliams traveled to the United States at age 18 as part of a high-school exchange program. She attended the University of California at Berkeley for college.