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Hochul Nominates Former Obama Advisor to N.Y.’s Top Financial Post

Staff report

Adrienne Harris was nominated to be superintendent of the state’s Department of Financial Services. Source: adrienneaharris.com

Gov. Kathy Hochul today announced that Adrienne Harris has been nominated to lead the New York State Department of Financial Services.

The state Senate will have to confirm Harris as superintendent of DFS. If that happens, she will be the state’s top financial regulator, making sure the banking and insurance industries comply with state laws as New York works to rebuild its economy after COVID-19.

Harris worked in the administration of President Barack Obama, both in U.S. Treasury Department and in the White House. In her role as senior advisor in Treasury, she focused on financial policy affecting national financial reform after the Great Recession, the student loan crisis, foreign investment and national security and promoting financial literacy and health.

In a news release, Hochul said the nomination of Harris advances “equitable economic recovery that seeks to lift up all citizens, not just the privileged few.” … “From her time working with President Obama to help the nation forge a path forward in the aftermath of 2007’s Great Recession to her vast experience in the private sector helping ensure companies of all sizes act as good corporate citizens, there is no one better suited to help lead this state’s economy forward and I, for one, cannot wait to get to work with Adrienne to deliver real results for the people of this great state.”

Harris said in the news release: “I am honored and humbled by the privilege to work with Gov. Hochul to serve the people of New York. Under her leadership, we will work together to ensure we have a robust and fair financial system, and an equitable economy. New Yorkers deserve no less. I look forward to getting to work.”

Before working at the U.S. Treasury Department, Harris was an associate at Sullivan and Cromwell LLP in New York City and represented U.S.- and foreign-based corporations in various forms of litigation and regulatory matters.

Following her stint at the Treasury Department, Harris joined the White as Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, as part of the National Economic Council. Harris managed the financial services portfolio and worked on consumer protections for the American public, cybersecurity and housing finance reform priorities.

Since leaving the White House in January 2017, Harris returned to the private financial sector. She currently serves as a professor and faculty co-director at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy’s Center on Finance, Law and Policy at the University of Michigan. She also is senior advisor at the Brunswick Group in Washington D.C. where she advises multinational corporations on mergers and acquisitions, stakeholder communications and management, future-proofing and policy intelligence.

David G. Clunie, executive director of the Black Economic Alliance, said in the news release: “With an unparalleled array of impressive experience at the highest levels of government and business, Adrienne Harris is a phenomenal choice to lead DFS. She is no stranger to working hard for the people, and New Yorkers will be well served by this appointment. Governor Hochul has made a smart choice putting her trust in Adrienne to take DFS to new heights.”