Donald E. Powell
Former Federal Coordinator of Gulf Coast Rebuilding
Donald E. Powell was named by President Bush as the Federal Coordinator of Gulf Coast Rebuilding on November 1, 2005. He had been tasked with developing a long-term rebuilding plan for the region in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, coordinating the federal efforts and helping state and local officials reach consensus on their vision for the region.
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Powell served as the 18th Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). He served in that role from the date of his Senate confirmation on August 29, 2001 until November 15, 2005.
Chairman Powell left his imprint on the FDIC in a number of tangible ways. Under his leadership, the FDIC distinguished itself by promoting the stability of the nation's financial system; by developing, articulating and implementing sound public policy; and by demonstrating prudent stewardship of the deposit insurance funds. Deposit insurance reform legislation -- an initiative that Powell strongly pursued -- is expected to pass Congress by the end of the year. The critically important Basel Capital Accord -- the new, more risk-sensitive capital framework for banks -- is proceeding toward implementation in a manner that reflects the FDIC's view of the importance of minimum capital requirements to help protect taxpayers from loss should the U.S. face another banking crisis. Regulatory burdens on the banking industry have been reduced. The FDIC's Center for Financial Research, a priority for Chairman Powell, has pursued a research agenda that has contributed high-quality analysis and has influenced public debate on important policy matters. With the implementation of a new bank financial reporting system in October 2005, the FDIC has taken a leadership role in the world-wide adoption of XBRL, a data reporting standard that brings transparency to financial statement reporting and analysis. Finally, Chairman Powell has built an FDIC culture of accountability, integrity, responsiveness and service that reflects his personal values and standards.
In his FDIC role, immediately after the hurricanes hit the Gulf, Chairman Powell took quick and decisive action to assist banks and their communities. The FDIC, working closely with the other banking regulators, helped banks resume operations and provided around-the-clock information to consumers about how to access needed cash. The Chairman visited the area and met with bankers to see firsthand what challenges the Gulf region faces as it begins the rebuilding process.
A life-long Texan, Powell has close to 40 years of experience in the financial services industry. Prior to becoming FDIC Chairman, Powell was President and CEO of The First National Bank of Amarillo, which he started in 1997. He began his banking career in 1963 as Loan Officer and Secretary at the First Federal Savings & Loan of Amarillo. In 1971, he joined Boatmen's First National Bank of Amarillo, where he became Chairman, President and CEO. He left Boatmen's to start The First National Bank of Amarillo.
He has served on a variety of boards, including Chairman of the Board of Regents of the Texas A&M University System, Advisory Board Member of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service, and Chairman of the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce.
Powell also has a long history of community service, ranging from the City of Amarillo Housing Board to the Franklin Lindsay Student Aid Fund and Cal Farley's Boys Ranch. He also has served on the boards of High Plains Baptist Hospital and the Harrington Regional Medical Center.
Powell received his Bachelor of Science degree in economics from West Texas State University and is a graduate of The Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University. Powell was born on May 2, 1941, in Perryton, TX. He and his wife, Twanna, have two grown sons and four grandchildren.