Industry Experts Join University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business to Lead New Center for Financial Policy

Aug 11, 2009, 10:35 ET from University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

COLLEGE PARK, Md., Aug. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business today announced finance industry leaders Clifford Rossi and William Longbrake have joined the school to lead the new Center for Financial Policy, which will be launched this fall. Rossi was named managing director of the center and Longbrake will serve as an executive-in-residence and senior policy advisor.

"The financial crisis highlighted the need for a broader, interdisciplinary perspective to addressing financial policy and corporate governance issues and Cliff and Bill bring decades of industry knowledge and insight to the Center for Financial Policy," said Lemma Senbet, the William E. Mayer Chair Professor of Finance and director of the center. "Our hope is for government financial regulatory agencies, congressional staffers, industry associations and corporations to look to the center as a partner and champion of best practices in the financial arena."

The Center for Financial Policy will develop thought leadership in financial policy that impacts corporate performance, capital allocation and the stability of the global financial system. Located in Washington, D.C., at the Smith School's campus in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, the center is well-situated to take a leadership role with its globally recognized faculty and its extensive relationships with key policymakers, practitioners and academics. It will formally launch in November with a roundtable event with public policy and industry leaders discussing executive compensation.

As managing director of the center, Rossi oversees operations and outreach. He will also teach in Smith's MBA program. Rossi has nearly 25 years experience in banking and government, having held senior executive roles in risk management at several of the largest financial services companies. His most recent position was Chief Risk Officer for Consumer Lending at Citigroup where he was intimately involved in TARP funding and stress tests performed on Citi. He also helped start a statistical arbitrage unit at Citi and helped integrate market and credit risk analytics across Citi's mortgage portfolios. While there he was responsible for overseeing a $200 billion global mortgage portfolio with 700 employees under his direction.

Previous to Citi, Rossi held senior positions at other major financial institutions and worked for a number of years at the Treasury Department and Office of Thrift Supervision working on key policy issues affecting depositories. Before permanently joining the Smith School, Rossi served as an adjunct professor for eight years and has a number of publications on banking industry topics. He earned his Ph.D. at Cornell University.

As an executive-in-residence at the Smith School, Longbrake works on a variety of business, policy, and governance issues with faculty, students, business leaders, government policymakers, and executives of not-for-profit organizations. Longbrake has extensive experience in finance, macroeconomics and monetary policy, risk management, housing, public policy and academia, government, serving both the public and private sectors. He also serves on the boards of directors of First Financial Northwest, a community bank located in Renton, Washington; the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle; and the Washington Financial League.

Longbrake is a member of several committees of the American Bankers Association, including those for government relations, governance and mortgage markets. He serves on the boards of trustees of Auburn Theological Seminary; the College of Wooster; and is president of the Intiman Theatre Foundation. He is president and chairman of the board of trustees of Lift Up Africa, a charitable organization that finances humanitarian and economic development initiatives on the continent of Africa, and is president and chairman of the board of trustees of the Longbrake Family Foundation.

In the academic sector, Longbrake has published extensively and has taught courses in business administration and finance. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland and in 2007, received the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year award from the Smith School. Longbrake is active in numerous academic, business, and community service organizations, particularly those involving issues surrounding affordable housing and education. He chairs the Washington State Citizens Commission for Review of Tax Preferences. He is a member of the Governor's Council of Economic Advisors for Washington State, a member of the University of Washington Business School Advisory Board and a member of the Smith School's Board of Visitors.

Longbrake is chairman emeritus of the Financial Services Roundtable's Housing Policy Council. He served as chief financial office of Washington Mutual, Inc. for most of the period from 1982 to 2002, except for 1995-1996 when he was chief financial officer of the FDIC.

About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 13 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, MS, Ph.D., and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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