The U.S. Department of the Treasury has announced the hiring of senior leadership for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Elizabeth Warren, Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the CFPB, highlighted the selection of Sendhil Mullainathan to serve as Assistant Director for Research and Patrice Alexander Ficklin to serve as Assistant Director for Fair Lending.
“Under Sendhil Mullainathan, the Office of Research will promote evidence-based policy-making at the CFPB. The Office will provide analytical support to the Bureau and strengthen its understanding of possible benefits and costs of potential CFPB policies,” said Warren. “With Patrice Ficklin at its head, the Office of Fair Lending will provide oversight and enforcement of Federal laws intended to ensure fair, equitable, and nondiscriminatory access to credit for both individuals and communities.”
Mullainathan is professor of economics at Harvard University, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Prior to joining the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Mullainathan was a co-founder of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab and a board member of the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development. He has received a MacArthur Foundation “genius award,” as well as numerous other grants and fellowships, including from the National Science Foundation, the Olin Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, and the Russell Sage Foundation. Mullainathan has published extensively in top economics journals including the American Economic Review, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, and the Journal of Political Economy. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University and received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University.
Ficklin most recently practiced at the civil rights law firm of Relman, Dane & Colfax, advising on civil rights issues arising in lending, employment, and housing. Prior to that, Ficklin worked at Fannie Mae, where she provided fair lending, fair housing, and other consumer law advice regarding mortgage products, pricing, and servicing. During her tenure at Fannie Mae, she also directed the company’s employee grievance department, conducted internal investigations, designed and implemented a mandatory non-binding arbitration program for employees, directed the corporate ethics program, and revamped officer and employee performance review standards. Ficklin specialized in financial institutions regulation, civil litigation, complex corporate transactions, and employment law at the Washington, D.C., law firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, now WilmerHale. She was appointed to the Maryland Higher Education Commission. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Law School.