Former Vice Chairman, Bank of America; Former Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs
Richard McCormack, former Executive Vice Chairman of Bank of America, first joined CSIS in May 2004 as a senior adviser. He was recruited by Merrill Lynch two years later after testifying before the Senate Banking Committee, warning about the potential dangers inherent in credit derivatives, the developing U.S. housing bubble, massive trade deficits, and other vulnerabilities in the U.S. and global economy. Three years later, Ambassador McCormack was promoted to Executive Vice Chairman of Bank of America, which merged with Merrill Lynch. At Bank of America, he advised the CEO and briefed hundreds of the bank’s clients throughout the world on evolving macroeconomic development and related issues. He consulted regularly with head of central banks and other top political and financial leaders worldwide. Earlier in his career, he served as a high-level adviser to political leaders and senior government officials.
Ambassador McCormack’s primary focus is geopolitics and the global economy. Among his principal interests is the role of the international financial institutions in preventing and containing financial crises and policy reforms in selected economies. During the administration of President George H.W. Bush, Ambassador McCormack served as Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs and as the principal coordinator for the president’s involvement in the G-7 economic summits. He was awarded the State Department’s highest award by then–Secretary of State James A. Baker. Ambassador McCormack also received the French Legion of Honor, as well as the superior honor award for outstanding sustained performance as the U.S. Ambassador to the Organization of American States. Still earlier in his career, he served as Assistant Secretary of State for Economics and Business, as a policy analyst in both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, and as deputy to the Assistant Secretary of Treasury. He also served as a senior staff member of the President's Advisory Council on Executive Organization at the White House, where he had lead responsibilities for developing the rationale and structure for the Council on International Economic Policy. From 1975 to 1977, he was a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
Prior to joining CSIS, Ambassador McCormack was a member of the State Department’s Advisory Commission on Africa, and a consultant/adviser to the managing director of the International Monetary Fund. He received his Ph.D. magna cum laude from the University of Fribourg in Switzerland and his B.A. from Georgetown University. Ambassador McCormack is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Economic Club of New York, the Union League Club of New York, the Council of American Ambassadors, and other organizations. His numerous publications include A Conversation with Ambassador Richard T. McCormack (Xlibris, 2013), an account of his many years of service in the public and private sectors.