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Southwestern Graduate School of Banking Foundation Announces Three New Board Members

March 2023


Jelena McWilliams, David Kemp, and Charles Cooper joined the Foundation’s Board of Trustees in January

Dallas, TX (SMU) March 9, 2023 – Three nationally known banking luminaries have joined the board of trustees of the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking Foundation (SWGSB) at the Cox School of Business, Southern Methodist University (SMU Cox). The school and foundation provide top educational experiences for bank officers, community bank directors and other leaders in the financial services industry.

New trustees include Ms. Jelena McWilliams, managing partner of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York City; Mr. David L. Kemp, president of Bankers Management Inc. in McDonough, Georgia; and Mr. Charles G. Cooper, commissioner of the Texas Department of Banking in Austin, Texas.

McWilliams became chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Commission (FDIC) on June 5, 2018. She was executive vice president, chief legal officer and corporate secretary for Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati, Ohio. Prior to her work at the bank, she worked as chief counsel and deputy staff director for the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. She has also worked as an attorney for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and has practiced securities law in the private sector. McWilliams has undergraduate and law degrees from the University of California at Berkeley.

Kemp is president of Bankers Management Inc (BMI). BMI is a nationally recognized company in financial services training and bank consulting. His more than 40 years of experience include forming BMI, serving as vice president and director of credit services for Cannon Lending Schools and serving as vice president of corporate finance for Citicorp North America. He regularly teaches courses as a visiting professor and guest lecturer, and has served on several Atlanta boards.

Cooper became Texas banking commissioner on Dec. 1, 2008. His career in banking spans almost 50 years and includes the public and private sectors. He began his career with the FDIC in the Dallas area and also has held senior roles in commercial banking and private equity. He has degrees in finance and economics from Baylor University and is a Southwestern Graduate School of Banking alum.

“These three individuals are leaders in the banking world and their decades of combined experience in commercial banking, private equity, public policy, securities law and industry regulation will help the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking Foundation maintain its position as the nation’s premier banking educational institution,” SWGSB Foundation President and CEO Jeff Schmid said. “These professionals join an already preeminent group of existing board members who are dedicated to making the financial services industry better, stronger and more nimble.”

The SWGSB Foundation board of trustees is composed of 15 top leaders in the banking industry from throughout the country.

For headshots and full bios, click here.

About the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking Foundation at the Cox School of Business

Established in 1957 at SMU in Dallas, the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking ( is a top banking educational institution and partner of SMU’s renowned Cox School of Business. The professional school serves bank officers, community bank directors, regulators and other leaders in the financial services industry. SWGSB’s rigorous Executive Education emphasizes financial management, leadership development and strategic planning. Annually, the SWGSB Foundation conducts the prestigious Assemblies for Bank Directors, a series of seminars and workshops held throughout the United States, Canada and off-shore for bank board members and senior officers. The Foundation recently re-launched its national Certified Community Bank Directors’ Program. SWGSB is currently accepting applications for its summer 2023 programs. For more information, contact (214) 768-2991 or

About SMU Cox

The Cox School of Business (, which celebrated 100 years of business education at SMU in 2020, is committed to influencing the way the world conducts business via prolific research that provokes innovation, change and global thought leadership. SMU Cox School of Business offers a full range of business education programs including BBA, Full-Time MBA, Professional MBA (part-time), Executive MBA, Online MBA, Direct MBA and Master of Science degree programs, as well as Executive Education. Consistently ranked among the world’s leading business schools, SMU Cox maintains an active, worldwide alumni network. The Cox School is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).