Richard Fisher, Special Guest Speaker at Alumni Homecoming Dinner
Richard W. Fisher is Senior Advisor to Barclays Plc. (a British bank holding company) and a Director of PepsiCo, ATT and Tenet Healthcare. He is Senior Contributing Editor for CNBC.
From 2005 to 2015, Mr. Fisher was President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. In this role, Fisher served as a member of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the Federal Reserve’s principal monetary policymaking group. He also served as the chair of the Conference of Federal Reserve Bank Presidents, the body that oversees the shared operations of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks. For five years he served as chair of the IT Oversight Committee for the 12 Federal Reserve banks, putting in place the first system-wide CIO structure.
Mr. Fisher’s ten years at the Federal Reserve were chronicled in the best-selling book Fed Up by Danielle DiMartino Booth.
Prior to becoming the president of the Dallas Fed in 2005, Mr. Fisher was Vice-Chairman of Kissinger McLarty Associates, a strategic advisory firm, in partnership with Henry Kissinger, the former Secretary of State for Presidents Nixon and Ford, and Mack McLarty, former White House Chief of Staff in the Clinton Administration. He was also Senior Advisor of FCM Investors in Dallas, Texas, an investment advisory firm that he founded in 1987 (see below). He simultaneously served as Senior Advisor to the law firm of Covington & Burling. He was a member of the Board of Directors of EDS.
From 1997 to 2001, Mr. Fisher was Deputy United States Trade Representative with the rank of Ambassador, responsible for U.S. trade policy and negotiations in Asia, Latin America, and Mexico and Canada. In 48 trips abroad, he led numerous high profile negotiations, including the U.S.–Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement signed by President George W. Bush in 2002; the initiation of agreements with Singapore and Chile; and the U.S. Korea Auto Agreement of 1998. He co-chaired the Enhanced Initiative on Competition and Deregulation of the Japanese Economy agreed to by President Clinton and Prime Minister Hashimoto. Ambassador Fisher was a senior member of the team that negotiated the U.S.–China and U.S.–Taiwan bilateral agreements for accession to the World Trade Organization and had oversight responsibility for the implementation of NAFTA. While serving as Deputy USTR, Ambassador Fisher served as Vice-Chairman of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and as an alternate member of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
Prior to joining the government, Mr. Fisher was Founder and Managing Partner for ten years of Fisher Capital Management (FCM) and Fisher Ewing Partners, with $500 million in equity capital. Fisher Ewing’s sole fund, Value Partners, earned a compound rate of return of 23.6% per annum during Mr. Fisher’s 9-year period as Managing Partner. Mr. Fisher began his career in 1975 at the private banking firm of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. (BBH), as Assistant to Robert V. Roosa. He was “lent out” to the Carter Administration to serve as Assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury from 1977-79 then rejoined BBH to establish their operations in Texas. He was Senior Manager of BBH’s investment management and corporate finance operations in Texas until creating FCM in 1987.
Mr. Fisher was educated at the U.S. Naval Academy, Harvard (B.A. cum laude in economics), Oxford (Latin American politics) and Stanford (M.B.A.). He has an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Bryant University. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an Honorary Fellow of Hertford College at Oxford University. He served on the Board of Overseers of Harvard from 2012-2017 where he chaired the Finance, Administration and Management Committee, was chairman of the Social Sciences Committee, and was a member of the university’s Inspections (audit) Committee. He is a trustee of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, the American Council on Germany, and the John Tower Institute at Southern Methodist University. Mr. Fisher is also a trustee of Southwestern Medical Foundation at the University of Texas.
Mr. Fisher is a first generation American, the son of an Australian father and South African mother. He is equally fluent in Spanish and English, having spent his formative years in Mexico. He is the proud father of four children: Anders, Alison, Miles and Texana.
In 2006, Mr. Fisher received the Service to Democracy Award and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Medal for Public Service from the American Assembly. In 2009, he was inducted into the Dallas Business Hall of Fame. In 2014, he received the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service. In February of 2015, he received the Order of the Aztec Eagle award, the highest honor given by the Mexican government to foreigners. He received the Neil Mallon Award, presented by former Secretary of State George Shultz, in October of 2015.
Mr. Fisher has been involved in a long history of charitable activities. He endowed the Fisher Family Commons at Harvard and also the Fisher Family Distinguished International Fellows program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. The Fisher Family Award for Community Service (and variations thereof) is given annually at St. Albans School and National Cathedral School in Washington D.C. and at St. Mark’s School, the Hockaday School and the Episcopal School of Dallas. A chair in Women’s Mental Health Studies at Southwestern Medical School, University of Texas is named in honor of his late daughter Texana Fisher. He has served on numerous eleemosynary boards, ranging from Goodwill of Dallas (Chair), the Dallas Museum of Art, the Dallas Symphony, Boys Clubs of Dallas, and The Dallas Committee on Foreign Affairs (Founder and Chair).