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UTRGV’s Dr. Marie Mora shares expertise with Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen

Dr. Marie T. Mora, a nationally recognized UTRGV professor of economics and associate vice provost for Faculty Diversity, was part of an exclusive group of leading economists at a June 17, 2016, meeting in Washington, D.C., with Janet Yellen, chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Shown from left are Sharmain Matlock-Turner, president and CEO of the Urban Affairs Coalition; Mora; Marc H. Morial, president and CEO, National Urban League; Dr. Bernard E. Anderson, Chief Economist, National Urban League; and Dr. Lucy J. Reuben, president and CEO, PhD Pipeline Opportunity Program.

By Gail Fagan

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – JUNE 21, 2016 – Dr. Marie T. Mora, professor of economics and associate vice provost for Faculty Diversity at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, was among a small group of leading economists who met June 17 with Dr. Janet Yellen, chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, to discuss the need for more diversity within the Fed – the central banking system in the United States.

“It was an honor to have been invited to participate in this extremely important discussion,” Mora said. “I am very excited that UTRGV was represented.”

Mora is nationally recognized for her research on Hispanic socioeconomic outcomes, and has been invited to share her expertise with numerous agencies and organizations, including the White House Council of Economic Advisers, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the U.S. Department of Labor.

Among her numerous publications is the award-winning book “Hispanic Entrepreneurs in the 2000s: An Economic Profile and Policy Implications,” co-authored with Dr. Alberto Dávila, also a UTRGV professor of economics. 

Yellen, who assumed her post in February 2014, is the 15th chair of the Federal Reserve System and its first female leader.

In 2012, Mora participated in a group meeting with then-Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and the rest of the board, to discuss small business formation and employment.

The meeting with Yellen, hosted by the National Urban League at its Washington, D.C., headquarters, also included:

  • Marc H. Morial, president and CEO, National Urban League.
  • Dr. Bernard Anderson, chief economist, National Urban League.
  • Dr. Lucy Reuben, president and CEO, PhD Pipeline Opportunity Program.
  • Sharmain Matlock-Turner, president and CEO, Urban Affairs Coalition. 

Mora said it is important to have diversity within the Federal Reserve System and other policy-making agencies and organizations, because in many cases, the research and subsequent policy recommendations, which directly and indirectly affect the economic outcomes of diverse populations, are shaped by the perspectives of the members of these groups.

“As such, some of the research being used to inform policy decisions may have incomplete information about what actually occurs ‘on the ground,’” she said. “Moreover, their economic outcomes impact the nation as a whole, more so now than in the past, in light of the changing demographics within the United States.”

Mora said the group discussed with Yellen issues related to growing income inequality in communities of color, and how employment opportunities and access to credit play a role.

“We hope our meeting marks the beginning of a longer-term relationship that will help the lay groundwork for the Federal Reserve System to be known as a stellar example of a diverse and inclusive institution,” Mora said. 

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Marci.Caltabiano@UTRGV.edu UTRGV Director of News and Internal Communications
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Jennifer.McGehee@UTRGV.edu UTRGV Director of Public Relations
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