McWatters named NCUA board chairman

McwattersPresident Donald Trump officially appointed J. Mark McWatters as NCUA’s new board chairman. McWatters, who previously served as acting chairman, assumed the new role June 23, though the agency just announced the news yesterday.

McWatters was nominated to the NCUA board by then-President Barack Obama in January 2014, and he was confirmed by the Senate and took office Aug. 26 of the same year.

During his time on the board, McWatters, a Republican, has consistently advocated for regulatory and transparency reforms that the credit union movement has sought.

“I congratulate J. Mark McWatters on his new appointment as NCUA board chair,” said New York Credit Union Association President/CEO William J. Mellin. “During his time as a board member and acting chairman, Mr. McWatters has consistently advocated for a more targeted approach to regulations, and he has attempted to bring more transparency to NCUA. We look forward to continuing to build on our relationship with the board chairman as we work toward a more favorable regulatory environment for the state’s credit unions.”

The New York credit union movement has a good working relationship with McWatters, who spoke at the Association’s 2015 Annual Meeting & Convention. During his speech, McWatters tapped his background as a tax attorney to explain to the audience his rationale behind his NCUA voting record. He urged Convention attendees to become more involved in the regulatory process, and vowed to push for more transparency at the agency.

Here are the complete details from NCUA:

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (June 27, 2017) – President Donald J. Trump has designated Acting National Credit Union Administration Board Chairman J. Mark McWatters as the tenth Chairman of the NCUA Board, effective June 23.

“I thank President Trump for this honor and the trust he has placed in me,” McWatters said. “As Chairman of the NCUA, I remain committed to providing regulatory relief for the credit union community, in compliance with the Federal Credit Union Act, and to streamlining the operations of NCUA as a prudential regulator.”

“We best fulfill our obligation to protect America’s $1.3 trillion credit union community and its 108 million, largely middle-class, members, and the safety and soundness of the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund by promoting a strong and vibrant system and by making the NCUA even more efficient, effective, transparent and fully accountable.”

McWatters was nominated to the NCUA Board by then-President Barack Obama on Jan. 7, 2014. Following Senate confirmation, he took office as an NCUA Board Member on Aug. 26, 2014. McWatters has served as Acting Board Chairman since Jan. 23.

“I am very pleased that Mr. McWatters has officially been designated as the Chairman of the NCUA by the President,” Board Member Rick Metsger said. “This recognizes his hard work and dedication to the mission of the agency and I look forward to our continued work together to provide access and financial safety to the over 100 million Americans who are part of the nation’s credit union system.”

Prior to joining NCUA’s Board, McWatters served as Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs and as a Professor of Practice at the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law and as Adjunct Professor at the university’s Cox School of Business. He also served on the Governing Board of the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs and on the Advisory Committee of the Texas Emerging Technology Fund.

McWatters served as a member of the Troubled Asset Relief Program Congressional Oversight Panel and as counsel to Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas). He also practiced law as a partner in three large cross-border law firms and as counsel to an international hedge and private equity firm, where he specialized in taxation, corporate finance, and mergers and acquisitions. He began his career as a judicial clerk to the Hon. Walter Ely of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

McWatters is licensed to practice law in Texas and New York and as a Certified Public Accountant in Texas. He holds a J.D. degree from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law and an LL.M degree from each of Columbia University School of Law and New York University School of Law.

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