Chief executive officer, economist and lawyer Roger W. Ferguson, Jr. was born on October 28, 1951 in Washington, D.C. to Roger Ferguson, Sr. and Alberta Elizabeth Lawson Ferguson. After graduating from Sidwell Friends School, he received his B.S. degree in economics from Harvard University in 1973. Ferguson served as a Frank Knox Fellow at Pembroke College, before receiving his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1979, and his Ph.D. degree in economics from Harvard University in 1981.
Ferguson worked as an attorney for the law firm of Davis Polk & Wardell, LLP in New York before joining McKinsey & Company Inc. in 1984, where he served as an associate director of research and information systems; and later, as partner. In 1997, Ferguson was appointed to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, becoming the third African American in history to serve on the Federal Reserve Board. In 1999, Ferguson was appointed to serve as vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the first African American to serve in that role. Ferguson served as chairman of the Group of Ten Working Party of Financial Sector Consolidation, chairman of the Committee on the Global Financial System (CGFS), and the chairman of the Financial Stability Forum (FSF) during his tenure as vice chairman. In 2006, Ferguson resigned as vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors; and, in 2008, he joined the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF) as chief executive officer and president. He also served as economic advisor to President Barack Obama, initially as a member of the President-elect’s Transition Economic Advisory Board and subsequently as a member of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.
Ferguson has received the Distinguished Service Award from the Bond Market Association, the William F. Butler Memorial Award from the New York Association for Business Economics, the Renaissance Award from the Abyssinian Development Corporation, and the Frederick Heldering Global Leadership Award from the Global Interdependence Center. He also holds honorary doctorate degrees from Lincoln College, Webster University, Michigan State University, Washington and Jefferson College, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute. In 2009, Ferguson received The “Visionary Award” from the Council for Economic Education and the “Good Scout Award” from the Greater New York Boy Scout Council.
Ferguson is married to former United States Securities and Exchange Commission Commissioner Annette Nazareth. They have two children.
Roger W. Ferguson, Jr. was interviewed by the The HistoryMakers on July 30, 2012 and October 16, 2019.