Sheila Colleen Bair (born April 3, 1954) is the Chairman of the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). She was appointed to the post for a five-year term on June 26, 2006 by George W. Bush. Bair will also serve as a member of the FDIC Board of Directors through July 2013.
Bair is a native of Independence, Kansas. Her father, Albert, was a surgeon. Her mother, Clara, was a nurse and a homemaker. She received her bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of Kansas, and worked as a bank teller for a brief period, before receiving a J.D. from the University of Kansas School of Law in 1978. In 1981, she was recruited by Senator Bob Dole, a Republican from her state, to serve as counsel on his staff in Washington.
Prior to her appointment at the FDIC, Bair was the Dean's Professor of Financial Regulatory Policy for the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a post she had held since 2002. She also served as Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions at the U.S. Department of the Treasury (2001 to 2002), Senior Vice President for Government Relations of the New York Stock Exchange (1995 to 2000), a Commissioner and Acting Chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (1991 to 1995), and Research Director, Deputy Counsel and Counsel to Kansas Republican Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole (1981 to 1988). While an academic, Bair also served on the FDIC's Advisory Committee on Banking Policy. Bair also pursued a seat in the U.S. Congress (she lost the 1990 Republican nomination in the 5th Kansas district by 760 votes to Dick Nichols). Bair began her career in the General Counsel's office of the former US Department of Health, Education and Welfare.