Fannie Mae announced on Wednesday that Sheila C. Bair will take on the role of Chair of Fannie Mae’s Board of Directors. The Board unanimously passed a resolution appointing her Chair on October 28, and Bair will be starting her new role on November 20. She succeeds Jonathan Plutzik, who will remain on the Board of Directors.
“Sheila’s deep well of experience will provide strong leadership as Fannie Mae works with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to exit conservatorship while simultaneously fulfilling our mission to provide access to safe, affordable mortgage financing,” Plutzik, the outgoing Chair of the Board, said in Fannie Mae’s announcement. “I note with pride the progress Fannie has made in all aspects of its operations since the last financial crisis and commend my fellow directors and Director Calabria for their unwavering commitment to making Fannie Mae a truly outstanding housing finance company.”
Plutzik first joined the Board after the 2008 financial crisis and has served on numerous committees, including the Risk Policy and Capital Committee, the Strategic Initiatives and Technology Committee, the Compensation Committee, and Vice-Chair of the Board before he became Chair in 2018.
“Fannie Mae appreciates Jonathan’s strong leadership over the last eleven years,” Chief Executive Officer Hugh R. Frater said. “He played an integral role in our response to the Coronavirus pandemic and has helped Fannie Mae improve its risk management capabilities, its governance, and meet important milestones as we work to exit conservatorship.”
Bair became a member of the Fannie Mae Board of Directors in August of 2019 and has served as a member of the Community Responsibility & Sustainability Committee, the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, as well as the Risk Policy and Capital Committee.
“Sheila is the perfect person to lead the Board and help guide the company as we continue to transition out of government control,” Frater said. “She will help chart a course forward for the company while making sure we never forget our mission to support mortgage financing in a safe and sound manner.”
Bair is currently a member of other boards, including the Board of Directors of Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. and the Board of Directors of the Bunge Limited. She also serves as Chair Emerita of the Systemic Risk Council, a public interest group that monitors progress on the implementation of financial reforms, and on the boards of Paxos Trust Company, LLC, and its parent Kabompo Holdings, Ltd., and the Volcker Alliance.
She previously served as the Chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and has a distinguished background of leadership in higher education and government.
“I am pleased and honored to be selected as Chair of this outstanding board and grateful to Jonathan Plutzik for his leadership,” Bair said. This is a pivotal time for Fannie Mae, and I look forward to working collaboratively with my colleagues in service of our ultimate client, the public.”