Speakers’ Profiles

ROBERT AVERY is a senior economist in the Division of Research and Statistics at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. He previously served as a professor at Cornell University. Bob’s work at the Federal Reserve focuses on supervisory issues related to community affairs and bank supervision, and he has co-authored numerous recent studies in these areas, including the Federal Reserve’s Congressional Report on disparate impact in credit scoring. He also designed the Federal Reserve’s fair lending HMDA screening program as well as the Fed’s loan sampling system for small-bank safety and soundness examinations. Bob holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin.

NEIL BHUTTA joined the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System as an economist in the Division of Research and Statistics in September 2008. One of his primary areas of interest is low-income and minority homeownership, and his doctoral thesis focused on estimating the impact of the Community Reinvestment Act and the GSE Affordable Housing Goals on mortgage credit supply. Neil holds a bachelor’s degree from Emory University and his PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

GLENN CANNER is a senior advisor in the Division of Research and Statistics at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. He joined the Board in 1979 as an economist and was promoted to his present position in 1996. Glenn’s current areas of specialization are home mortgage and consumer lending, with a strong focus on fair lending laws and community reinvestment issues. During his time at the Board, Glenn has authored and co-authored numerous articles and was one of the primary researchers who prepared the Federal Reserve’s Congressional Report on disparate impact in credit scoring. Glenn holds a bachelor’s degree from Lake Forest College and his master’s and PhD in economics from Brown University.

BEN KEYS is a PhD candidate in the Department of Economics and a pre-doctoral trainee at the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan. He previously worked as a senior research assistant at the Brookings Institution. Ben is a recipient of the University of Michigan's Rackham Pre-Doctoral Fellowship and of the Department of Education's Jacob K. Javits Fellowship. His research interests include labor economics, consumer finance, behavioral economics, and the housing and financial opportunities of the poor. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Swarthmore College.

LISA NELSON serves as senior policy analyst for the Community Development team at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. She performs data analysis, conducts applied research, and authors reports on a range of community development issues affecting low- and moderate-income communities. Lisa is the author of numerous Cleveland Fed publications, among them a recent issue of A Look Behind the Numbers, in which she analyzes foreclosure patterns in northeast Ohio’s Cuyahoga County. Previously, she served as associate director for community information at the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development at Case Western Reserve University. Lisa holds a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Tennessee and a master's degree in public administration from the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University.

BRECK ROBINSON is an associate professor at the University of Delaware in the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy, where he teaches classes in economics and finance. He also works as a financial economist and visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Prior to teaching, Breck worked in the Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. His primary research area is banking, with a particular emphasis on the Community Reinvestment Act, bank legislation, and mortgage lending. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, he earned an MA in economics from the University of Delaware and an MBA and PhD in finance from the University of Tennessee.

STEPHEN ROSS is a professor of economics at the University of Connecticut, where he has conducted extensive research in the area of housing and mortgage lending discrimination. The author of The Color of Credit, published by MIT Press, Stephen has also published extensively in prestigious academic journals including the Journal of Political Economy, the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Economic Journal, Social Problems, and the Journal of Urban Economics. Stephen was the research director for the 2000 Housing Discrimination Study and has consulted on numerous government, industry, and private fair-housing research and enforcement activities. He earned his PhD from Syracuse University.

MARK SNIDERMAN is executive vice president and chief policy officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, responsible for economic research, public affairs, community affairs, and policy analysis. Mark joined the Bank’s Research Department as an economist in 1976 and assumed his current position in 2007. Before joining the Federal Reserve, Mark held teaching and research positions at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. A past president of the Cleveland Association for Business Economics, Mark has also served as senior economist for economic policy analysis for the U.S. Senate Budget Committee in Washington DC. He earned a bachelor's degree from Case Western Reserve University and a master’s and PhD in economics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

PETER WALLISON is co-director of the American Enterprise Institute’s program on financial market deregulation and holds the Arthur F. Burns Chair in Financial Policy Studies. Prior to joining AEI, Peter practiced banking, corporate, and financial law. He has also held a number of government positions, among them general counsel to the United States Treasury and to the Depository Institutions Deregulation Committee, and he participated in the Treasury Department's efforts to deal with the LDC (less-developed-country) debt issue. During 1986 and 1987, Peter was White House counsel to President Ronald Reagan. The author of numerous books and reports, Peter is also a frequent contributor to the op-ed pages of the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Financial Times. He holds undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard.

MARK WILLIS is a visiting scholar at the Ford Foundation, where his work focuses on community development and the financial services sector. He also teaches a course on housing and community development policy at NYU. Previously, Mark spent 19 years in community development banking at JPMorgan Chase, overseeing the bank’s community development programs and developing products to help strengthen low- and moderate-income communities. Before joining Chase, he held various positions in economic development and tax policy with the City of New York. He also served as an urban economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Mark holds a bachelor’s in economics from Yale University, a JD from Harvard Law School, and a PhD in urban economics and industrial organization from Yale University.