Raskin visits Duke Law as professor of the practice of law
Former deputy treasury secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin also serves as a distinguished fellow at the Global Financial Markets Center and a senior fellow at the Duke Center on Risk.
Sarah Bloom Raskin, the former deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Treasury and an expert in financial regulation and monetary policy, joined the faculty in August as a visiting professor of the practice of law. She is also a distinguished fellow at the Law School’s Global Financial Markets Center and a senior fellow in the Duke Center on Risk, part of the university’s Science & Society Initiative.
Raskin had been a member of Duke University’s Rubenstein Fellows Academy since 2017. In the fall semester, she taught a seminar, Law and Financial Anxiety, and participated in a readings course on the financial policy response to COVID-19 taught by Senior Lecturing Fellow Lee Reiners.
“We are delighted to have Sarah Bloom Raskin on the Duke Law faculty,” said Kerry Abrams, James B. Duke and Benjamin N. Duke Dean of the School of Law and professor of law. “A thought leader with a remarkable record of leadership in the public and private sectors, she is a great inspiration for our students and a tremendous resource for our faculty.”
As a Rubenstein Fellow, Raskin collaborated across the university to improve understanding of markets and regulation. She led an agenda focused on shaping a new relationship between regulation and resilience in financial markets and deepening understanding of the management of systemic risks from diverse sources such as financial instruments, cyber breaches, and climate events. She also mentored and advised undergraduate and graduate students on careers in the public sector, guest-lectured in courses across the university, participated in public events, and led collaborative research projects.
Raskin’s interests brought her into a close affiliation with the Global Financial Markets Center, which promotes the interdisciplinary study and discussion of global financial markets and financial regulation. She was a frequent participant in the center’s programs, including public conversations with former Rep. Barney Frank on the evolution of financial regulation and Commodity Futures Trading Commissioner Rostin Behnam on the risks that climate change poses to the stability of our financial system, as well as a daylong conference in 2019 on the financial crisis and its aftermath.
Raskin participated in two multidisciplinary research projects with center and Law School faculty through the university’s Bass Connections program: “How Do Cyberattacks Hurt Me”, which was co-led during the 2018-19 academic year by Raskin and Reiners, the center’s executive director, and explored the pathways and articulation of harm from consumer data breaches; and “American Predatory Lending and the Global Financial Crisis,” a current project led by Reiners that also includes Professor Sarah Sternberg Greene and seeks to deepen the public’s understanding of the roots of the financial crisis and analyze policy responses with an eye toward future crises. In March, Raskin launched Bounceback, a center forum focused on understanding consumer resilience.
“Sarah is an accomplished teacher and researcher, and the center is delighted to have her as a senior member,” said Lawrence Baxter, the David T. Zhang Professor of the Practice of Law and the Global Financial Market Center’s faculty director. “We appreciate the enormous benefit of her wisdom and experience in all aspects of financial regulation and monetary policy.”
During her Rubenstein Fellowship, Raskin also worked closely with the Rethinking Regulation program at Duke’s Kenan Institute for Ethics. The program’s co-director, Perkins Professor of Law Jonathan Wiener, is now the co-director of the Duke Center on Risk, a collaboration drawing from a variety of disciplines and focused on society’s capacity to analyze, anticipate, mitigate, and adapt to risks. Raskin testified before Congress in March on the serious risks to financial stability posed by climate change, and she was a featured speaker at a September conference on this issue co-hosted by the Duke Center on Risk, the Global Financial Markets Center, and Duke Law.
“From Sarah Bloom Raskin’s roles at the Fed and at Treasury — including helping the country recover from the Great Recession — she brings unparalleled expertise on how good government can effectively address financial risks,” said Wiener, who is also a professor of environmental policy and public policy. “And we are excited to collaborate with her across disciplines on the pressing issues of risk, regulation, and resilience.”
From 2014 to 2017, Raskin was the second-in-command at the Treasury Department, where she was known for her pursuit of innovative solutions to enhance American’s shared prosperity, the resilience of the country’s critical financial infrastructure, and the defense of consumer safeguards in the financial marketplace. Within the United States and throughout the international community, she was a champion of cybersecurity in the financial sector, helping to elevate this issue with corporate executives and boards. Her efforts, including leading the development of the G-7 Fundamental Elements of Cybersecurity for the Financial Sector, contributed to a more secure and resilient financial sector in the face of increasingly frequent and sophisticated threats.
Prior to serving at the Treasury, Raskin was a governor of the Federal Reserve Board and a member of the Federal Open Market Committee, where she helped conduct the nation’s monetary policy and promote financial stability. She also previously served as commissioner of financial regulation for the State of Maryland from 2007 to 2010. She and her agency were responsible for regulating Maryland’s financial institutions during the height of the Great Recession.
Raskin, a graduate of Harvard Law School, has throughout her career worked across public and private sectors in both legal and regulatory capacities. Her work has centered on financial institutions, financial market utilities, consumer protection issues, bolstered prudential standards, and resolution planning. Her private sector experience includes having served as managing director at the Promontory Financial Group, general counsel of the WorldWide Retail Exchange, and general counsel of Columbia Energy Services Corporation. Earlier in her career she served as banking counsel for the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
“After three years of teaching and working with the remarkable faculty, students, and staff at Duke as a Rubenstein Fellow, I cannot bring myself to leave,” said Raskin. “I am learning way too much and developing the interdisciplinary theories of regulation and resiliency that I think will be essential to navigating this treacherous new age of crisis, pandemic, and climate chaos. I am thrilled to join this extraordinary community and work with Duke Law School, the Global Financial Markets Center, and the Duke Center for Risk, on the key challenges of our day.”