Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Former Risk-Management Exec Examines Leadership Failures in U.S. Financial Crisis

CHESTERTOWN—Clifford Rossi, a professor at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business, will explore the key lapses in ethics and leadership that contributed to America's financial and economic crisis and suggest lessons for the way forward. Titled “A Crisis of Leadership: Lessons from the Financial Meltdown,” the talk will take place Tuesday, Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Litrenta Lecture Hall, Toll Science Center, on the Washington College campus.

In his analysis, Rossi will focus on the decisions made in both business and government. “Clifford Rossi has a unique perspective on America's financial meltdown,” says Washington College professor Michael Harvey, chair of the Department of Business and Business Management, which is sponsoring the lecture. “He draws on real-world experience and academic understanding of the complex intersections of finance, law, and leadership in times of uncertainty.”

Rossi is a Tyser Teaching Fellow and Managing Director of the Center for Financial Policy at Maryland's business school. Prior to entering academia, he spent nearly 25 years in banking and government. He held senior executive roles in risk management at several large financial services companies. His most recent position was Chief Risk Officer for Consumer Lending at Citigroup, where he was intimately involved in TARP funding and stress tests performed on the firm. He also was responsible for overseeing a $200 billion global mortgage portfolio and directing 700 employees.

Previous positions included Chief Credit Officer at Washington Mutual (WaMu), Chief Risk Officer at Countrywide Bank, and senior risk-management positions at Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. In addition, he worked for a number of years at the Treasury Department and Office of Thrift Supervision, focusing on key policy issues affecting depositories.

Rossi was an adjunct professor in the Finance Department at the Robert H. Smith School of Business for eight years before taking on the current full-time position. He holds a Ph.D. in financial economics from Cornell University

The Nov. 9 talk is free and open to the public.

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