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CSBS Appoints New CEO

Nov 30, 2023
Associate Editor

Brandon Milhorn to succeed James Cooper

The Conference of State Bank Supervisors will have a new chief as of next week, the national organization of financial regulators announced.

The CSBS’ Board of Directors appointed Brandon Milhorn to succeed current President and CEO James Cooper, effective Dec. 4.

Cooper, who has served in the role since May 2022 following the sudden death of CSBS leader John W. Ryan, leaves CSBS for a long-planned retirement, the organization said.

Milhorn comes to CSBS from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, (FDIC) where he currently serves as deputy to FDIC Vice Chairman Travis Hill and previously was chief operating officer, chief of staff and deputy to FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams. 

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, we are excited to welcome Brandon Milhorn as our next CEO,” said CSBS Board Chair and North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions Commissioner Lise Kruse. “Brandon brings a unique blend of relevant experiences, valuable networks and reputation, and the leadership skills necessary to meet the high expectations we have of our next leader, established with extensive input from all CSBS members and staff, that will allow CSBS to realize its full potential. The Board and staff look forward to working with him in service to our members nationwide and in collaboration with our partners in Washington.” 

Milhorn’s three decades of advocacy, policy, legal and regulatory experience have served him well for this role, according to CSBS. Prior to his last five years with the FDIC, he spent seven years in the private sector with Raytheon and over a decade as counsel to the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Intelligence, the CIA, and in two prominent U.S. Court clerkships. 

“CSBS members serve as the cornerstone of the dual-banking system, supervising the financial services that are the lifeblood of the United States economy,” Milhorn said. “For more than a century CSBS has provided the advocacy, education and infrastructure critical to support our members’ vital mission. I am honored to join the dedicated CSBS team as its next CEO, and I am grateful for the trust of our members and the Board of Directors.” 

A Tennessee native, Milhorn earned his B.S. in Economics from East Tennessee State University, graduating summa cum laude in 1994. He went on to earn his J.D. cum laude from Cornell Law School in 1997. 

During his tenure with CSBS, Cooper was credited with helping to advance the state system’s Networked Supervision, a strategy for strengthening and streamlining state regulation, and with providing stability during a time of stress for the banking system.  

“CSBS and its members are grateful for the committed service of Jim Cooper who has served with distinction as CEO since June 2022 following the unexpected passing of our CEO John Ryan,” said Kruse. “Under Jim’s leadership we have made substantial progress particularly with our NMLS platform. We thank Jim for his many years of service to CSBS and its members and we wish him all the best in his well-earned retirement.”  

Prior to becoming its CEO Cooper spent nine years as senior vice president and executive vice president, directing policy and supervision. He joined CSBS following a 30-year career at the Indiana Department of Financial Institutions, where he served as deputy director from 1994 to 2013. 

During the announcement Kruse thanked CSBS' past Chair Tom Fite for his leadership and support, as well as CSBS members and staff.

"We are delighted with the outcome and the entire Board and staff look forward with anticipation, confidence, and optimism to the future of CSBS under the leadership of our next CEO, Brandon Milhorn,” Kruse said.

About the author
Associate Editor
Erica Drzewiecki is an associate editor at NMP.
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