KU News Release

March 31, 2010
Contact: Cori Ast, Dole Institute of Politics, (785) 864-1156

FDIC chair Sheila Bair to give 2010 Dole Lecture

Sheila Bair

More Information

LAWRENCE — Sheila Bair, chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and University of Kansas alumna, will give the 2010 Dole Lecture. The event is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 19, at the Dole Institute of Politics.

“Sheila is a lifelong public servant who has exemplified courage through her dedication to the American public,” said Bill Lacy, director of the Dole Institute. “Her leadership during one of the worst financial crises in recent history is a testament to her sound Kansas roots.”

The Dole Lecture is free and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Appointed to a five-year term by President George W. Bush, Bair has served as chair of the FDIC since June 2006.

In 2007, Bair warned of the impending sub-prime mortgage crisis. Bair organized a meeting to persuade financial institutions to reduce monthly payments, but bank investors were not convinced. As the crisis grew, banks’ bad debt forced the FDIC to liquidate more than 200 financial institutions.

In response to the failures, Congress increased the power of the U.S. Treasury and the FDIC to restore Americans’ faith in the financial system. Forbes magazine named Bair the second most powerful woman in the world in 2008 and 2009 for her role as chair. She also made Time magazine’s “Time 100” list of the most influential people of 2009.

Bair has spent most of her professional life in public service, beginning her career as a civil rights attorney in the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. In 1981, Bair landed a job in the office of Sen. Bob Dole. In the seven years she worked for Dole, Bair assisted with civil rights legislation, judicial nominations and Dole’s presidential bid in 1988. After leaving Dole’s office, she worked for the New York Stock Exchange as commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and at the U.S. Department of the Treasury before becoming a professor of financial regulatory policy at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Bair has received many awards, including the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award and Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award. A Wichita native, Bair holds a bachelor’s in philosophy and a law degree, both from KU.

The Dole Lecture is hosted annually to commemorate the courageous recovery of Sen. Bob Dole after he was gravely wounded during a World War II battle on April 14, 1945, in Italy. Previous Dole Lectures have been given by President Bill Clinton; Sens. Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and Elizabeth Dole; Gen. Richard Myers; and journalist Tom Brokaw.

The 2010 Dole Lecture is made possible in part through the support of Mr. and Mrs. Brian C. King of Leawood.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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