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Sarah Bloom Raskin

Sarah Bloom Raskin

Former Deputy Treasury Secretary & Federal Reserve Board Governor


The highest ranking woman ever to serve at the Treasury Department, Sarah Bloom Raskin demystifies the role of government in the economy, providing invaluable insights into the minds and mindsets of those controlling the powerful policy levers in Washington. Rare among government officials for her experience as both second-in-command at Treasury and as a Governor on the Federal Reserve Board, Raskin shaped both monetary and fiscal policy during an historic time of extreme financial distress, recession, regulatory reform and eventual recovery. Read More >

As the uncommon non-PhD economist at the highest level of the Fed and Treasury, she brought fresh and innovative ways of interpreting data and evaluating indicators at a time when cadres of PhDs were being criticized for missing the warning signs that led to the financial crisis. Raskin’s unconventional approaches included going “undercover” as a job seeker at job fairs and unemployment offices and discussing her findings at meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee. Expressing a current concern that the fault lines underlying the financial crisis still exist, Sarah Bloom Raskin provides a refreshing and authoritative look at our economic landscape, the Fed’s potential next moves, and the challenges that the U.S. government and Wall Street will face in the future.

Sarah Bloom Raskin’s remarkable career in the public financial sector has been distinguished by a tireless pursuit of innovative solutions, a focus on protecting the resilience of our country’s critical financial infrastructure and a passionate commitment to enhancing shared economic prosperity. Appointed Fed Governor in 2010 when the country was in the throes of financial crisis and Occupy Wall Street, Raskin’s role in shaping monetary policy and promoting financial stability captured the attention of President Obama. He appointed her Deputy Secretary of the Treasury and she was confirmed by the United States Senate for that role in 2014. Raskin served until 2017, cracking the glass ceiling as No. 2 at Treasury and forging policy and regulatory reform that contributed to our nation’s sustained economic recovery. At Treasury, she was a strong champion of cybersecurity in the financial sector, elevating this critical issue to C-suites and boardrooms. Her national and international efforts, including leading the development and international adoption of the G-7 Fundamental Elements of Cybersecurity for the Financial Sector, enhanced security and resiliency at a time of increasing and more sophisticated cyber attacks. Prior to being Federal Reserve Board Governor, Raskin was Commissioner of Financial Regulation for the State of Maryland, responsible for regulating all state-chartered financial depository institutions, including banks, credit unions and mortgage lenders. Before entering government service, Raskin worked in the private financial sector as Managing Director at global financial services company the Promontory Financial Group and as General Counsel of the WorldWide Retail Exchange and Columbia Energy Services Corporation. Earlier, Raskin served as Banking Counsel for the United States Senate Committee on Banking Housing and Urban Affairs. Sarah Bloom Raskin holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.A. in economics from Amherst College.

Combining a definitive take on how the highest level of economic policymakers view the world with her own broad experience, Sarah Bloom Raskin is known for tailoring her keynotes to specific areas of audience interest. Her content expertise provides engaging thought leadership on issues ranging from the student loan crisis and the financial contagion posed by the threat of cyberattacks to the personal perspective of a woman leader who made it to the top tier of Washington decision-makers. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Ted Talk: And Yet it Moves: Challenging Our Assumptions

Digital Threats Now Have Geo-Political Motives

Inequality's Impact on Economic Growth

The Need for Cyber security in the Financial Sector

Policy Makers Need to Have a Bigger Vision

Speech Topics

Outlook for the U.S. Economy: The Fault Lines are Still There

As a Federal Reserve Governor and Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, Sarah Bloom Raskin shaped monetary and fiscal policy during a time of financial crisis, recession, regulatory reform, and eventually, recovery. Her approach went beyond analyzing economic reports and forecasts.  At the height of the Recession, she “went undercover” at job fairs and unemployment offices to experience the struggles of ordinary Americans, especially those who had fallen from the middle class. Her penchant for looking at the economy through the eyes of ordinary Americans cemented her reputation as a protector of consumers and a proponent of policies that created jobs, provided ladders of opportunity and strengthened the middle class. Years after the financial crisis, she contends that many of the fault lines are still there, including a growing student loan debt bubble with the potential to become the equivalent of the housing bubble. Sharing a point of view gained at the highest level of financial and monetary policymaking and revealing insights into those who are now leading the Federal Reserve and Treasury, Sarah Bloom Raskin examines the state of our economy, its outlook and the fault lines that are still there.

Enhancing Cyber Resilience in the Financial Sector

So far, the global economy and our financial infrastructure have been spared an all-encompassing  cyberattack. Still, this catastrophic possibility and its far-reaching consequences – particularly as they relate to our nation’s critical infrastructures -- can never be underestimated. As U.S. Treasury Deputy Secretary, Sarah Bloom Raskin led national and international initiatives to protect our financial system. This included leading Treasury’s efforts to increase the security of our increasingly interconnected financial services sector and to enhance coordination and communication between the financial sector C-suites and the homeland security, law enforcement and intelligence communities. In this essential presentation, Raskin examines what governments and  financial sector companies must do to avoid an attack that could freeze our financial system, payment system and the basic functioning of  critical infrastructure. Read More >


Areas of discussion can include:

  • The motives behind the threats
  • The new vulnerabilities of increased interconnectivity
  • Developing a culture of cyber-resilience
  • Ensuring that international legal principles apply equally online
  • Response and recovery in the event of a cyberattack
  • The imperatives of preparation, coordination and practice
  • Enhancing the security of our nation’s payment systems
  • The use of cyber risk insurance as a mitigant to devastating attacks


Former Deputy Secretary Raskin will also discuss: Read Less ^

  • Making cyber risk a part of an overall risk management framework
  • Identifying and protecting high value targets from malicious cyber actors
  • Embedding cybersecurity into governance, control and risk systems
  • Standards and practices of cyber hygiene and mitigating third party risk
  • What role do customers play in protecting themselves?
  • Cyber insurance and “minimum required practices”

The Future of Fintech: Blockchain, Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency

Hugely powerful and disruptive, blockchain technology has the capacity to eliminate traditional intermediaries and displace the banking industry as we understand it today. It also brings powerful—and potentially positive—benefits such as real efficiencies, lower costs, and increased transparency.  By creating (previously nonexistent) access to financial services for millions around the globe, this technology may also foster unimaginable innovation. Drawing upon her many years at the Federal Reserve, Treasury and as a financial regulator and international cybersecurity policymaker, Sarah Bloom Raskin explores the incredible potential and real risks of blockchain technology. What is the significance of the distributed ledger? Is blockchain secure or vulnerable to cyberhacks? When do we need to regulate? Should we allow this fintech to grow outside of the traditional financial regulatory structure? Or would this stifle promising pilots and other innovations? Raskin asks and answers the most common questions surrounding this fascinating technology and its cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, providing perspective gained at the highest levels of the world’s financial infrastructure.

“Come Sit at the Table!” Lessons in Women’s Leadership & Inclusion

As Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Sarah Bloom Raskin noticed a troubling phenomenon: Upon entering meetings, men would go immediately to sit at the table, while women would often choose the periphery. Their voices were often drowned out, if heard at all. By stepping forward as a woman leader with the encouraging invitation to “Come sit at the table!” Raskin spurred more women to participate, broadening the diversity of opinion and perspectives represented. In this empowering keynote, Sarah Bloom Raskin recalls her successful career in a predominantly man’s world, from the corporate financial sector to breaking new ground as the first woman to serve as Deputy Secretary of the Treasury.  With hard-won wisdom and signature warmth, Raskin shares lessons on leadership, mentorship, collaboration and empowering your own success. Most of all, she underscores why it is important for every organization to foster a culture of inclusion that brings everyone to the table.

Governance, Innovation & Start-up Culture

Can we have strong, sound corporate governance without squashing innovation, risk-taking and out-of-the box thinking? Sarah Bloom Raskin contends that we do not have to choose. As ascendant companies continue to make headlines with bad behaviors, former Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Raskin explores how to successfully merge the critical fundamentals of sound governance with the entrepreneurial spirit. Bringing the combined perspective of an attorney, regulator, and policy-maker who has seen the benefits of effective governance, Sarah Bloom Raskin provides invaluable advice for evaluating and improving an organization’s policies and practices. An essential presentation for entrepreneurial organizations –and those that invest in them.

The Regulatory Environment & Outlook

As the Trump Administration contemplates deregulation, Former Federal Reserve Governor and Deputy Treasury Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin examines aspects in which this deregulatory trend can have beneficial or troubling effects.   Having experienced – and indeed crafted – many of the reforms that are now in question, Ms. Raskin brings to bear a close working knowledge of the Federal Reserve System, the United States Treasury, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the FDIC, the CFPB,  the Financial Stability Oversight Council, the SEC, and the CFTC to analyze with precision the effects of a decidedly different regulatory regime.  She combines this vast federal knowledge with an understanding of state and local efforts, and the role of advocacy groups in the financial regulatory debates of the day.