Michael Nutter speaking at a podium. He is an African American man wearing a black suit, looking to the right.
Photo credit: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images for the USOC

New Racial Justice Committee to advise Secretary of the Treasury in advancing racial equity

The new committee will advise on topics such as economic development and access to capital, seeking to address racial inequalities in the domestic economy.


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On Oct. 4, 2022, the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen announced in a press release the inaugural members of the Treasury Advisory Committee of Racial Justice.

Following a department-wide equity assessment made by the Treasury last year, the Committee was created to achieve the goal of creating an institutionalized method of gathering insights and recommendations on racial equity efforts.

The new committee will advise Secretary Yellen and Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo on efforts to improve racial equity in the economy, as well as to address disparities faced by communities of color.

Michael Nutter, David N. Dinkins Professor of Professional Practice in Urban and Public Affairs at Columbia University and former Mayor of Philadelphia, will serve as Committee chair, with Felicia Wong, the President and CEO of the Roosevelt Institute as vice-chair.

“I am deeply honored to have been asked to serve, and provide leadership, for this inaugural effort,” Nutter said. 

“The creation of this Committee is a shining example and testament to the commitment of Secretary Yellen, Deputy Secretary Adeyemo, Counselor Bowdler, and so many others in the Treasury Department who are focused on the task at hand - how do we find, focus and factor into programs and policies the issue of racial equity,” he continued.

The Committee will identify, monitor, and review elements of the domestic economy that have negatively impacted communities of color through disadvantageous situations.

Topics the Committee will address include but are not limited to: economic development, housing stability, federal supplier diversity, access to capital, and financial inclusion.

“A critical piece of executing on our racial equity goals is bringing a wide set of outside perspectives and lived experiences to the decision-making table,” said Secretary Yellen. 

“The Treasury Advisory Committee on Racial Equity, made up of members with wide-ranging backgrounds and expertise, will provide important insight and advice to leadership across the department to bolster and inform our equity efforts,” she continued.

Composed of 25 members, each one comes from a diverse range of backgrounds, including academia, advocacy, financial services, and from local government.

They share a common experience with and working knowledge of how economic policy decisions can impact communities of color, each holding a deep commitment to advancing racial equity.

“Any efforts to address inequality in the United States must account for the legacy of racial exclusion built into our economy. I look forward to working with this distinguished group of leaders to propose ways to harness Treasury's power and authority to redress these harms, toward a more just and equitable future,” Vice-chair Wong said in a statement.

Members serve a two year term, serving alongside Treasury’s Counselor for Racial Equity, Janis Bowdler. The Committee’s charter is established under agency authority and meets the requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).

Other inaugural members of the Treasury Advisory Committee include Gilbert Garcia, Managing Partner and Portfolio Manager at Garcia Hamilton & Associates, L.P.; José Quiñonez, Founding CEO of Mission Asset Fund; and David Clunie, Executive Director of the Black Economic Alliance.


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