Economist and lawyer, Roger W. Ferguson, Jr. was born on October 28, 1951 in Washington, D.C. ‘s northeast section. His father was a U.S. Army mapmaker and his mother was a public school teacher. Ferguson became interested in economics and finance at an early age. His father was an avid investor and traveled to the Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond, Virginia to purchase treasury securities. Ferguson attended public schools in D.C. and high school at Sidwell Friends School, a co-educational Quaker day school. He obtained his B.A. degree in economics from Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude. He then spent a year in England as a Frank Knox Fellow at Pembroke College, Cambridge. Ferguson obtained his J.D. degree cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1979 and in 1981 his Ph.D. degree in economics from Harvard University.
Ferguson worked as an attorney for the law firm of Davis Polk & Wardell, LLP in New York before becoming an associate and ultimately a partner at McKinsey & Company Inc., where he served as director of research and information systems and managed a variety of studies for financial institutions. In 1997, Ferguson joined 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. His duties as vice chairman included heading a committee that proposed methods to improve Federal Reserve communication. Ferguson also 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 joined the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF) as CEO and President. He has served as economic advisor to President 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, an honorary Fellowship at Pembroke College, 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 doctorates 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<\em> on May 14, 2012.