Jelena McWilliams

Managing Partner
Cravath, Swaine & Moore, LLP

Jelena McWilliams was sworn in as the 21st chairman of the FDIC on June 5, 2018. She serves a six-year term and is designated as chairman for five years.

McWilliams was executive vice president, chief legal officer, and corporate secretary for Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati, Ohio. There she served as a member of the executive management team and numerous bank committees including Management Compliance, Enterprise Risk, Risk and Compliance, Operational Risk, Enterprise Marketing, and Regulatory Change.

Prior to joining Fifth Third Bank, McWilliams worked in the U.S. Senate for six years, most recently as chief counsel and deputy staff director with the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and previously as assistant chief counsel with the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.

From 2007 to 2010, McWilliams served as an attorney at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, where she drafted consumer protection regulations, reviewed and analyzed comment letters on regulatory proposals, and responded to consumer complaints.

Before entering public service, McWilliams practiced corporate and securities law at Morrison & Foerster LLP in Palo Alto, California, and Hogan & Hartson LLP (now Hogan Lovells LLP) in Washington, D.C. In legal practice, she advised management and boards of directors on corporate governance, compliance, and reporting requirements under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. She also represented publicly and privately held companies in mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings, strategic business ventures, venture capital investments, and general corporate matters.

McWilliams graduated with highest honors from the University of California at Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, and earned her law degree from U.C. Berkeley School of Law.