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Mary Bush

Financial executive and federal government official Mary K. Bush was born in 1948 in Birmingham, Alabama to Augusta and Johnny Bush. She graduated from Ullman High School in 1965 and received her B.A. degree, Phi Beta Kappa Magna Cum Laude, in economics and political science from Fisk University in 1969. Bush went on to receive her M.B.A. degree in finance in 1971 from the University of Chicago.

In 1971, she joined Chase Manhattan Bank in New York City as a credit analyst. From 1973 to 1976, Bush worked as an account officer for Citbank, and from 1976 to 1982, she worked as vice president and team leader for Bankers Trust Company. In 1982, she held the position of executive assistant to the deputy secretary for the United States Treasury. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan appointed Bush as United States alternate executive director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Four years later, Bush became vice president of international finance for the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae). In 1989, she served as managing director of the Federal Housing Finance Board for the Federal Home Loan Bank System. Bush founded her own global consulting firm, Bush International, LLC, in 1991. From 1994 to 1997, Bush hosted "Markets and Technology," a nationwide cable television program on global business and government policy. In 2006, she was appointed by President George W. Bush as chairman of the Helping to Enhance the Livelihood of People around the Globe Commission (HELP). Bush is a frequent television commentator and speaker on global business and financial matters and corporate governance. She has also advised the foreign governments of Bulgaria, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines and the Republic of Singapore.

Bush has applied her financial and economic expertise on the board of directors of many companies including Discover Financial Services, The Pioneer Family of Mutual Funds, Mantech International Corporation and Marriott International. Bush also serves on the Investment Company Institute Board of Governors and on the boards of the Independent Directors Council and Capital Partners for Education. She also serves on the advisory boards of Stern Stewart International, the Global Leadership Foundation (US Advisory Board) and the Kennedy Center Community and Friends Advisory Board.

Mary K. Bush was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 7, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.055

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/7/2012

Last Name

Bush

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Schools

Ullman High School

Fisk University

University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Center Street Elementary School

First Name

Mary

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

BUS03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Italy

Favorite Quote

To Thine Own Self Be True.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Interview Description
Birth Date

4/9/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Vegetables

Short Description

Financial executive and federal government official Mary Bush (1948 - ) served on the board of the International Monetary Fund, where she designed the Structural Adjustment Facility. She was also the vice president of international finance at Fannie Mae and the managing director of the Federal Housing Finance Board.

Employment

Bush International, LLC

NET (formerly America's Voice)

Federal Home Loan Bank System

Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae)

International Monetary Fund

United States Treasury Department

Bankers Trust Company

Citibank

Chase Manhattan Bank

Discover Financial Services

Marriot International

Pioneer Family of Mutual Funds

ManTech International Corporation

United Airlines

PEFCO

Brock Capital

First National City Bank

Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation

American Security Bank

Briggs and Stratton

Texaco, Inc.

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Mary Bush's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Mary Bush lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Mary Bush describes her maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Mary Bush talks about her mother's education and occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Mary Bush describes her father's occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Mary Bush describes her paternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Mary Bush lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Mary Bush remembers her father's work ethic

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Mary Bush talks about her father's education

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Mary Bush describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Mary Bush describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Mary Bush remembers walking to elementary school

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Mary Bush talks about Center Street Elementary School in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Mary Bush recalls her extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Mary Bush remembers the Sixth Avenue Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Mary Bush recalls entering Samuel Ullman High School in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Mary Bush remembers her neighbors in Birmingham, Alabama, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Mary Bush remembers her neighbors in Birmingham, Alabama, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Mary Bush reflects upon her experiences at Samuel Ullman High School

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Mary Bush recalls her decision to attend Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Mary Bush remembers the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Mary Bush talks about the bombings during the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Mary Bush talks about her decision to attend school in the South

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Mary Bush recalls the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Mary Bush describes the history of Fisk University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Mary Bush talks about her experiences at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Mary Bush recalls her decision to attend the University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Mary Bush recalls her first impressions of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Mary Bush remembers her classmates at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Mary Bush recalls her training at Chase Manhattan Bank

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Mary Bush recalls her position at the First National City Bank

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Mary Bush recalls becoming a vice president of Bankers Trust

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Mary Bush talks about her work at Bankers Trust

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Mary Bush remembers being recruited to the U.S. Department of the Treasury

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Mary Bush describes her role at the U.S. Department of the Treasury

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Mary Bush talks about economic policy under President Ronald Reagan

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Mary Bush recalls her appointment to the International Monetary Fund

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Mary Bush remembers designing the Structural Adjustment Facility

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Mary Bush remembers her work at the Federal National Mortgage Association

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Mary Bush describes her role on the Federal Housing Finance Board

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Mary Bush talks about her experiences as an African American woman in the federal government

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Mary Bush talks about her friendship with Condoleezza Rice

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Mary Bush remembers becoming an independent consultant

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Mary Bush recalls her start as a corporate board member

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Mary Bush reflects upon her corporate board memberships

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Mary Bush describes her corporate board memberships

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Mary Bush talks about her speeches on corporate governance

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Mary Bush describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Mary Bush shares her plans for the future

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Mary Bush reflects upon her family

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Mary Bush narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

8$2

DATitle
Mary Bush talks about the bombings during the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham, Alabama
Mary Bush remembers designing the Structural Adjustment Facility
Transcript
You said in your mind, "What did they bomb now?" What--so this--the things had led up to this, what were those things?$$Well, there were I think I mentioned Attorney Shores earlier, Arthur Shores, who lived in Smithfield [Birmingham, Alabama] and had a beautiful house sort of on the top of the hill, his house was bombed two or three times that I recall and even though it was Smithfield the next community over, you could, you could hear those as well. Reverend Shuttlesworth [HistoryMaker Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth] lived a little further out. I don't think I, I couldn't hear when his home or church was bombed but of course we would hear about it. There were, there was a house about a block and a half from me where another minister lived, his home was bombed. There were shrapnel bomb planted in the sidewalks where we had to walk to school one day. When, when I was in high school [Samuel Ullman High School, Birmingham, Alabama], we would walk about two, three, about three and a half blocks you know to get to the bus on 6th Avenue to go up to our high school and shrapnel, I don't know if you know what it is, but it's all these sharp things that were planted beneath the sidewalks and the shrapnel went off along about a two and a half, three block radius just the pathway that many of us would walk to school, Freeman [HistoryMaker Freeman Hrabowski], Cheryl [Cheryl McCarthy], Sandra Copeland, many of the kids in the neighborhood, and they went off and the other interesting thing is this shows how cohesive our not just our churches and schools were but our communities were, a couple of my teachers and my brother's teachers, Freeman's teachers lived on the street that was closest to 6th Avenue. So when the shrapnel went off there those teachers got on the phone immediately and they just started a chain going, "Keep your child home, keep your child home, keep your child home." And it's a good thing that they did because one might assume this shrapnel, these shrapnel bombs had gone off and then it was you know safe to go onto the bus, but indeed those phone calls were very important because our parents indeed kept us home and just about the time when we would have been actually walking out to go to school, another set of shrapnel bombs went off. So the bombings were frequent and regular. In fact that's kind of how Birmingham [Alabama] got its nickname, Bombingham.$$And this is the 1960s, you're at this point this is high school years?$$Yes.$$So you're going to school, the external environment is hostile. The internal environment is nurturing and supportive.$$You put your finger right on it. (Laughter) Yes, yes.$What would you say your, your, the, the accomplishment is that you're the proudest of at the time that you were at the IMF [International Monetary Fund]?$$The, the thing that I'm most proud of is creation of a new lending facility. Again it was that--$$Structural Adjustment--?$$--the Structural Adjustment Facility referred to shorthand the SAF. It was later called the Expanded Structural Adjustment Facility [sic. Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility]. The reason was that our [U.S.] Congress and the other governments around the world decided to add more money to that fund. But here's the reason that it was significant. The IMF was lending to countries and when the IMF lends, it negotiates economic programs with the country. Those economic programs are focused primarily on fiscal policy and in other words budgets, how much you're spending, taxes and that kind of thing and monetary policy. What they--what those programs were not focused on as I saw it were the things that actually, the business part of it. The practical things that really get economic growth and that comes from business, it does not come from government. So I saw that issue. The other issue was that many finance ministers and essential bank governors would walk into my door and so they would always meet with the United States because of our strong voting power as well as with the management of the IMF and so many of them said to me the IMF and the World Bank, which is the sister institution to the IMF are giving us different conditions, different things that they want us to meet when we borrow from each institution and they frequently conflict with each other. And I said this doesn't make sense. So that was one thing that didn't make sense. The other thing that didn't make sense was that when we were, even though we were lending to a country and they would pay down some of the money, the next year or the year after, they were back again with the same problem and I said, "We're not addressing the problems, we're not addressing all of the problems." The Structural Adjustment Facility was aimed at doing that. Number one it brought the IMF and the World Bank together to negotiate with the country together and to be sure that the economic conditions that they were requiring were in sync with each other but number two, I wanted us to focus and we did focus and the Structural Adjustment Facility on investment policy. In other words with the right regulations in place so that people living in an African country, a Latin country, an Asian country would want to keep their money at home and invest it there. Were the right policies in place where they could attract foreign investment? Were the right tax policies in place so that they were not confiscating an enormous amount of the productivity of business? Was there a lot of red tape that prevented or that hindered the formation of new businesses and new companies? Those were the kinds of things that the staff addressed, addressed.$$Who was head of the IMF at that time?$$Initially it was Jacques de Larosiere and during my last oh, year and a half there, it was Michel Camdessus. Both Frenchmen, both outstanding.