The Public Banking Institute’s national leadership in helping establish public banks within municipal, state and Federal government is informed and guided by some of the world’s most prominent economists, researchers and policy influencers:
Co-Founder, The Democracy Collaborative and Co-Chair, Next System Project
Gar Alperovitz has had a distinguished career as a historian, political economist, activist, writer, and government official. For fifteen years, he was the Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland, and is a former Fellow of Kings College, Cambridge University; Harvard’s Institute of Politics; the Institute for Policy Studies; and a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution.
Gar is the author of critically acclaimed books on the atomic bomb and atomic diplomacy. As a well known policy expert, he has testified before numerous Congressional committees and lectures widely around the country. Among his many achievements is having been the architect of the first modern steel industry attempt at worker ownership in Youngstown, Ohio. In addition, Gar was nominated to be a member of the Council of Economic Advisers by leading national consumer, labor, and environmental organizations.
He is also the president of the National Center for Economic and Security Alternatives and is a founding principal of the Democracy Collaborative, a research institution developing practical, policy-focused, and systematic paths towards ecologically sustainable, community-oriented change and the democratization of wealth.
Professor of Banking Law at the University of California, Irvine
Mehrsa Baradaran, Esq. is currently a professor of banking law at the University of California, Irvine. Baradaran’s latest book, The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap was awarded the PROSE Award Honorable Mention in the Business, Finance & Management category. Baradaran writes about banking law, financial inclusion, inequality, and the racial wealth gap and her books have received significant national and international media coverage and have been featured in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Slate, American Banker, The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times.
First African-American woman in the United States to start a commercial bank
Emma Chappell is a trailblazer as an African American in commerce and banking. She was the first female Vice President of a major bank in all of Pennsylvania when she was named to that position at Philadelphia’s Continental Bank. Her position there leading the Community Business Loan and Development Department enabled her to support the development of Philadelphia’s black community with loans to minority-owned and women-owned small businesses. During this time, she also organized the Model Cities Business and Commercial Project — now the Philadelphia Commercial Development Project — to revitalize commerce in the inner city. In 1992, Chappell founded the United Bank of Philadelphia from scratch — personally raising over $6 million in capital — and served as its president and CEO. Throughout her career, Chappell has maintained an interest in socio-political movements. She served as Chairperson of Operation PUSH and is founding Vice President of the National Rainbow Coalition.
Public Policy Consultant
Dr. Amara Enyia is a Public Policy expert on city and state policy as well as international affairs / foreign policy with expertise in Central Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. She writes extensively on issues of education, economic development, fiscal policy, equity in policy, and systems thinking.
In addition to Bachelors degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science, Dr. Enyia holds a Masters degree in education, a law degree, and a PhD in Education Policy. She has worked as a grassroots organizer particularly around issues of education equity, economic justice and environmental justice. She has served as part of local and national efforts to diversify the economic ecosystem through educating, advocating and developing policy for cooperative economic models and financing tools that support cooperative enterprises. She also serves as a leading advocate for efforts to establish public banks in cities and states across the country. In addition to her public policy consulting work, Dr. Enyia is a political consultant and strategist.
She serves as a formal representative of the African Union in the Diaspora representing the 6th Region of the African Union Commission. She also serves on the boards of the Chicago Community Loan Fund, and the Global Strategists Association. She maintains proficiency in Igbo, Spanish, French and Portuguese and was named a Public Policy Global Leadership Fellow with the Global Strategists Association. Dr. Enyia serves as a regular commentator and contributor on policy and politics for various media outlets.
Mike Gravel is an American politician who served as a United States Senator from Alaska from 1969 to 1981. A member of the Democratic Party, he ran for president in the 2008 and 2020 elections. Born and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts, by French-Canadian immigrant parents, Gravel served in the U.S. Army in West Germany, and later graduated from the Columbia University School of General Studies. He moved to Alaska in the late 1950s, becoming a real estate developer and entering politics. He served in the Alaska House of Representatives from 1963 to 1966 where he became Speaker of the Alaska House. Gravel was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1968.
As a senator, Gravel became nationally known for his forceful attempts to end the draft during the War in Vietnam and for putting the Pentagon Papers into the public record in 1971. His committee assignments included: Finance, Interior, Environment and Public Works and he chaired subcommittees on Buildings and Grounds, Energy, Water Resources, and Environmental Pollution. After losing office in 1980, Gravel incorporated two California non-profit corporations: Direct Democracy and Philadelphia II, both dedicated to the establishment of direct democracy in United States by the enactment the National Citizens Initiative for Democracy (NCID) a legislative package that can be enacted by American voters rather than by government in a manner similar to the process used in 1787-88 that ratified the Constitution and created the federal government.
Thomas Greco Jr.
Author, Educator, and Community Economist
Thomas H. Greco, Jr. is a preeminent scholar, author, educator, and community economist. He is widely regarded as a leading authority on moneyless exchange, community currencies, and financial innovation, and is a sought after speaker internationally. He has conducted workshops and lectured in 15 countries on five continents and has been advisor to currency projects in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, India, China, Africa, New Zealand and elsewhere. He has authored numerous articles and books, the most recent of which is titled, The End of Money and the Future of Civilization.
Tom Greco holds an MBA from the University of Rochester and a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Villanova University. He’s a former college professor, and spent a year in residence doing doctoral study in Management, and Instructional Technology at Syracuse University. His work experience includes 5 years as an aerospace engineer and 14 years in academia, where he held a tenured faculty position at Rochester Institute of Technology. His expertise includes monetary theory, complementary currency and exchange systems, computer applications, statistics, and survey research.
Charles T. Grigsby
Finance and banking executive
Charles T. Grigsby has held numerous public executive roles in finance and banking, most recently as President of the Massachusetts Growth Capital Fund and as Chairman and Managing Director at Trillium Asset Management Corp. He served as SVP of the Mass. Capital Resource Company, on the Federal Reserve Bank Small Business Advisory Committee, on the MA State Board of Education, as Director of the Audit Committee of MA Housing Investment Corp., as President of the Massachusetts Community Development Finance Corp., and as Chair of the Boston Private Bank. As Director of Boston’s Neighborhood Development Department, Chuck provided financing for affordable housing, economic development, and all capital construction. He was Director of Capital Planning for the City of Boston and President of the Mass Venture Capital Corp. Chuck helps lead a statewide legislative initiative to create a state-level public bank dedicated to providing infrastructure finance assistance for municipalities and the State.
Research Director at The Democracy Collaborative; Co-Director of TDC’s Theory, Policy, and Research Division
Thomas M. Hanna is Research Director at The Democracy Collaborative and Co-Director of the organization’s Theory, Policy, and Research Division. He joined TDC in 2010 as a research assistant to Gar Alperovitz. Thomas’ areas of expertise include democratic models of ownership and governance, particularly public and cooperative ownership. He has published dozens of articles in popular and academic journals, and his recent publications include Our Common Wealth: The Return of Public Ownership in the United States (Manchester University Press, 2018), The Crisis Next Time: Planning for Public Ownership as an Alternative to Corporate Bank Bailouts (Next System Project, 2018) and, with Andrew Cumbers, Constructing the Democratic Public Enterprise (Democracy Collaborative, 2019). A dual citizen of the United States and the United Kingdom, he has advised the UK Labour Party on democratic public ownership and has served on the Advisory Board of two European Research Council funded academic research projects: Transforming Public Policy Through Economic Democracy and Global Remunicipalisation and the Post-Neoliberal Turn. He received his M.A. and B.A. degrees in history from Virginia Commonwealth University, and is currently pursuing a PhD in political economy at the University of Glasgow.
Washington State Senator
Washington State Senator Bob Hasegawa began representing the 11th Legislative District in 2005, first in the House of Representatives through 2012 and now in the Senate. He is a longtime labor and social justice activist. He led many workers struggles, winning top wages and benefits for working families and retirees, and he collaborated in many social justice struggles to protect civil rights, democracy, the environment and our constitutional rights. For 32 years, Bob was a member of the Teamsters Union, where he rose through the ranks to become the elected leader of the largest Teamster trucking industry and general workers local union in the Pacific Northwest (Teamsters Local 174) for three terms (nine years), and was also a leader in the national Teamsters pro-union democracy reform movement, Teamsters for a Democratic Union. As a union/community organizer, Bob has long sought to build bridges between social justice organizations, particularly those serving the labor, environmental, religious and Asian Pacific Islander communities. He was a founding member and has served on the local and national executive boards of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance AFL-CIO, the King County Labor Council and other boards of community based organizations. He continues to serve on two boards at the University of Washington (Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies, and the Dan Evans School of Public Policy and Governance), and the Japanese American Citizens League.
Bob’s Senate Standing Committees include Rules, Ways and Means, State Government and Tribal Relations, and is the Vice Chair of Financial Institutions, Insurance, Economic Development, Trade and Tourism. He is also a member of several committees that serve the people: Legislative Committee on Economic Development and International Relations (LCEDIR), Joint Legislative Audit and Review (JLARC), Joint Administrative Rules Review(JARRC), Election Administration and Certification Board, the Washington-Hyogo Friendship Council, and is the SDC Delegate to the Pacific NW Economic Region (PNWER). Bob’s priorities in state government have centered around serving as a voice for working families, small businesses and disenfranchised communities.
President, Ethical Markets Media
Hazel Henderson D.Sc.Hon., FRSA, is the founder of Ethical Markets Media LLC and the creator and Co-Executive Producer of its TV series. She is a world renowned futurist, evolutionary economist, a worldwide syndicated columnist, consultant on sustainable development, and author of The Axiom and Nautilus award-winning book Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy (2006) and eight other books. She co-edited, with Harlan Cleveland and Inge Kaul, The UN: Policy and Financing Alternatives, Elsevier Scientific, UK 1995 (US edition, 1996), and co-authored with Japanese Buddhist leader Daisaku Ikeda, Planetary Citizenship (2004). Her editorials appear in 27 languages and in 200 newspapers syndicated by InterPress Service, Rome, New York, and Washington DC, and her book reviews appear on SeekingAlpha.
Edward Cornell Professor of Law
Robert Hockett joined the Cornell Law Faculty in 2004. His principal teaching, research, and writing interests lie in the fields of organizational, financial, and monetary law and economics in both their positive and normative, as well as their national and transnational, dimensions. His guiding concern in these fields is with the legal and institutional prerequisites to a just, prosperous, and sustainable economic order.
A Fellow of the Century Foundation and regular commissioned author for the New America Foundation, Hockett also does regular consulting work for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the International Monetary Fund, Americans for Financial Reform, the ‘Occupy’ Cooperative, and a number of federal and state legislators and local governments.
Prior to doing his doctoral work and entering academe, he worked for the International Monetary Fund and clerked for the Honorable Deanell Reece Tacha, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri
Michael Hudson is President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and author of ….and forgive them their debts – Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption from Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year (2018). J is for Junk Economics (2017), Killing the Host (2015), The Bubble and Beyond (2012), Super-Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (1968 & 2003), Trade, Development and Foreign Debt (1992 & 2009) and The Myth of Aid (1971), amongst many others.
ISLET engages in research regarding domestic and international finance, national income and balance-sheet accounting with regard to real estate, and the economic history of the ancient Near East. Michael acts as an economic advisor to governments worldwide including Iceland, Latvia and China on finance and tax law.
Senior Lecturer, Department of Development Studies SOAS, University of London
Thomas Marois is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Development Studies, SOAS University of London. He works in the fields of political economy and finance for development, with his research focusing on public banks and the financing of sustainable development in ways that traverse traditional north/south divides. He is a member of the Municipal Services Project, a global network of researchers investigating public alternatives to privatisation and commercialisation. In addition to his academic posts, Thomas has worked in the NGO, private, and public sectors in Canada and Latin America.
Senior Fellow – Economic Security Project, Senior Adviser – The Academy Group
Ameya Pawar a Senior Fellow with the Economic Security Project and a Senior Adviser to The Academy Group, a Chicago-based social enterprise. He is the former alderman of Chicago’s 47th Ward and the first Asian and Indian American elected to the Chicago City Council and major office in Illinois. While in office, Ameya focused legislative efforts around social justice, worker rights, and economic justice. To this end, Ameya led most all labor policy and worker rights legislation passed in Chicago over the last eight years, including raising the minimum wage to $13/hr, guaranteeing paid sick leave, combating wage theft, and preserving housing for Chicago’s most vulnerable. Ameya has a bachelor’s degree in religion and philosophy from Missouri Valley College, a master’s degree in public administration from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and is a two-time graduate from the University of Chicago with master’s degrees in threat and response management and social service administration. Ameya was a US State Department Critical Language Program alum, a 2012 University of Illinois Edgar Fellow, and was named to Crain’s Chicago 40 under 40 in 2011. Most recently, he was named a 2018 McCormick Foundation Executive Fellow. Prior to leaving office, Ameya chaired the Chicago Resilient Families Task Force. The task force made recommendations on a city-run basic income pilot, the expansion and modernization of the EITC, and the need for narrative change in public policy.
Former Chair and CEO of First Washington Bancorp, Former faculty member of the Federal Reserve System
Bill Sinclair was formerly Chairman and CEO of First Washington Bancorp, an 18 billion dollar bank holding company. Prior to First Washington, he was President of American Federal Bank, Perpetual American Bank, and Nuwest Bankshares. Sinclair was also a faculty member of the Federal Reserve System, the Mortgage Bankers Association, the AT&T School of Banking, and the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, serving as an expert on Mortgage and Investment Banking. In addition he was a guest lecturer quarterly on Economic and Political Issues at Northwestern University’s Graduate School of Management, from 1980 to 1990.
Bill was a member of the Board of Directors of Firemans Insurance Co., The Greater Washington Board of Trade, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, Republic Mortgage Insurance Co., and the Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Va.
From 1982 to 1984 Sinclair testified at the Congressional Hearings on Banking Legislation and Deregulation. In 1989 he was elected President of the Greater Washington Board of Trade and became a member of the Young Presidents Organization. In 1995 he became Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Liberty Capital Markets in Irvine Ca. Sinclair served as Naval Officer during the Vietnam Era.
Civic educator. Public defender.
Tom Tresser is an educator, organizer, creativity champion, public defender and fighter of privatization. He has been doing civic engagement and grassroots democracy efforts for over 40 years. In 2008 he was a co-founder of Protect Our Parks, a neighborhood effort to stop the privatization of public space in Chicago. He was a lead organizer for No Games Chicago, an all-volunteer grassroots effort that opposed Chicago’s 2016 Olympic bid. He is the lead organizer for the TIF Illumination Project that is investigating and explaining the impacts of Tax Increment Financing districts on a ward-by-ward basis. With Benjamin Sugar Tom co-founded The CivicLab in 2013, a co-working space where activists, educators, coders and designers came to work, collaborate, teach, and build tools for civic engagement.
In July of 2016 Tom published a book of short articles by local experts on how we can save and generate $5 billion in sustainable and progressive revenues for Chicago, including the establishment of a public bank for Chicago. Chicago Is Not Broke. Funding the City We Deserve was made possible by a crowdfunding campaign that attracted 203 contributors. Legendary political organizer Don Rose calls it “required reading.” To date the book has triggered 66 public meetings around the book attended by over 2,300 people.
Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Visiting Professor International Affairs, New School University, New York City; Co-founder Democracy at Work; Host “Economic Update with Richard D. Wolff”
Richard D. Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus at UMass Amherst and a visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University in New York. Richard Wolff is also a co-founder and active contributor of his non-profit: Democracy at Work and host of Economic Update with Richard D. Wolff.