Financial Update (Third Quarter 2008)

Commercial Banker Duke Becomes Newest Fed Governor

photo of Elizabeth Duke Elizabeth Duke, a career commercial banker, was sworn into office as a Federal Reserve Board governor on August 5. Her term ends in January 2012. She will have a seat on the Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed's monetary policymaking body.

Behind the teller window
Duke, 55, started her banking career as a part-time teller at First and Merchants National Bank in Virginia Beach, Va. She was president and chief executive officer of the Virginia-based Bank of Tidewater until SouthTrust acquired it in 2001, when she remained as executive vice president of community development.

She became executive vice president at Wachovia when it acquired SouthTrust in 2004. That same year, she became the first woman to chair the American Bankers Association, the industry's key trade group.

Most recently, she was chief operating officer of TowneBank, a community bank in Portsmouth, Va. She also has firsthand experience with a Reserve Bank, having served on the board of directors of the Richmond Fed from 1998 to 2000.

Board of Governors Web siteoff-site image
Elizabeth Duke biooff-site image

From drama class to the Board of Governors
Duke received her bachelor's degree in drama from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and worked for a time in dinner theater. While working at the Bank of Virginia Beach, she attended Old Dominion University part time and received her master's degree in business administration there in 1983.

Duke becomes the first woman to serve as a Fed governor since Susan Bies, who resigned in March 2007.


August 20, 2008