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January 01 2008

Treasury Holds Inaugural Meeting of President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy

WASHINGTON  -- Feburary 13, 2008 -- The Treasury Department today held the first meeting of the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy to lay out its agenda and goals for the upcoming months. The new Council, established by President George W. Bush on January 22, agreed to focus on expanding Americans' access to financial services and increasing financial education for youth in school and for adults in the workplace. The Council also called for research to measure the nation's level of financial literacy.  

"Every American should have the skills necessary to take control of his or her financial future, and basic financial education is the first step to achieving that goal," said Council chairman Charles Schwab, who led the meeting. "This Council is committed to making financial literacy a national priority, and to bringing together the private sector, the government, the non-profit sector and our religious communities to help give people of all ages and backgrounds the skills to understand and manage their finances."   

"The President formed this Council because he understands that financially literate Americans fare better in life," said Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions David Nason. "The best way to raise our nation's level of financial literacy is for the government to work with the types of private sector groups represented on the Council." 

The President and the Secretary of the Treasury have tasked the Council to work with the public and private sector to help increase financial education efforts for all Americans. Each Council member represents an industry involved with the delivery of financial education.   

Within the next 30 days, the group will form subcommittees including Financial Literacy for Youth, Financial Literacy in the Workplace, Financial Access for the Underserved, and Financial Education Research sub-committees. The subcommittees will further lay out the Council's agenda and goals for the upcoming months. The Council is also expected to name a liaison to the Financial Literacy and Education Commission, which released a financial education strategy report in 2006.   

The Council also announced that it will be accepting public comments February 20 - April 30. Details on how to submit public comments will be published in the Federal Register Notice on or about February 20 and posted on http://www.treas.gov/ofe .    

The Council will next meet on June 18.  

The new Council members are: 

  • Mr. Ted Beck, National Endowment for Financial Education
  • Mr. John Bryant, Operation HOPE, Inc. (Vice Chairman)
  • Mr. Theodore Daniels, Society for Financial Education and Professional Development
  • Vice Admiral (retired) Cutler Dawson, Navy Federal Credit Union
  • Dr. Robert Duvall, National Council on Economic Education
  • Dr. Tahira Hira, Iowa State University
  • Mr. Jack Kosakowski, Junior Achievement
  • Ms. Sharon Lechter, CEO and Founder of Lechter Development Group
  • Dr. Robert Lee, FreshMinistries, Inc. 
  • Ms. Laura Levine, Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy
  • Mr. David Mancl, Office of Financial Literacy of the Wisconsin
  • Department of Financial Institutions
  • Mr. Don McGrath, Bank of the West
  • Ms. Janet Parker, Society of Human Resource Management
  • Mr. Ignacio Salazar, SER National
  • Ms. Mary Schapiro, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
  • Mr. Charles Schwab, Charles Schwab Corporation (Chairman)