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“Diversity means making sure that we are hiring as broadly representative a set of individuals as we possibly can, bringing that set of individuals in the door to welcome them as employees of the Federal Reserve,” Wilcox said.
Wilcox said the scholastic background of Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve Chairman during the recession, proved vital to successfully navigating the minefield of the Great Recession.
Bernanke’s status as one of the foremost scholars of the causes and recovery strategies of the Great Depression made him better equipped to serve during a national emergency than anyone else on the planet, Wilcox said.
“It was the privilege and benefit of working with people I found very inspiring, very brilliant, very dedicated, very focused on the public mission here at the Federal Reserve Board who clarified my thinking about what I wanted to do for my career,” Wilcox said.
Wilcox, now chief economist for the Fed, has spent 30 years with the country’s central banking system.
“But we also need to do nothing less than help the economics profession itself change more broadly on the outside.” Still, Wilcox stressed that the Federal Reserve and other prominent employers have a long way to go to fully ensure that minority groups are properly represented across the board.
Wilcox said awareness is the first step on a long road toward positive change.Wilcox credits his colleagues for preventing a bad situation from becoming a complete disaster.“As bad as it was, I really do believe that it was the courage and creativity and brilliance of a lot of individuals I was privileged to work with that prevented it from being even worse,” Wilcox said.In that role, he worked alongside many world-renowned economists that the Fed turned to in order to save the United States from financial ruin.“That was an extraordinarily intense period of time,” Wilcox said.By Duncan Agnew | [email protected] David Wilcox took his seat in an intermediate economics class as a sophomore at Williams College, he never thought the lecture would set him on a path to one of the most powerful federal agencies in the country.The first thing that struck Wilcox, who years later would help navigate the country through financial crisis at the Federal Reserve, was that Williams undergraduate economics professor Carl van Duyne could hardly contain his excitement as he handed out new textbooks to his students.He announced this summer that he will retire at the end of the year.Wilcox is well known for serving as the deputy director of the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors during the financial crisis in 2008.“I think he is motivated to do so not just because he wants the American economy as a whole to be stronger, but because he really cares about making people’s lives better.” In that same vein, Wilcox spent the past five years becoming a pioneer in promoting diversity and inclusion within the field of economics.He said one of his primary goals has been to foster a supportive, productive work environment that pushes all employees to offer valuable contributions to the organization.