About Us

Russ Wermers

Russ Wermers
Director, Center for Financial Policy
Dean’s Chair in Finance

Russell Wermers is responsible for providing the center’s vision, strategy, and oversight.

Wermers is the director of the Center for Financial Policy and the Dean’s Chair in Finance at Maryland Smith. He is a one of the leading experts in the field of asset management and performance evaluation.

His research is regularly published in the Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Finance and Review of Financial Studies. He currently serves on the Asset Management Advisory Committee at the Securities and Exchange Commission. He received his PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles, in December 1995. Full bio »

Pete Kyle

Albert “Pete” Kyle
Senior Fellow
Charles E. Smith Chair Professor of Finance

Albert “Pete” Kyle serves as a senior policy advisor to the center.

Kyle has been the Charles E. Smith Chair Professor of Finance at Maryland Smith since 2006. He is one of the leading experts in the field of market microstructure and the author of the historic paper best known as Kyle 1985.

He has been a board member of NASDAQ’s and FINRA’s economic advisory board (2004-07), and a member of the CFTC’s Technology Advisory Committee (since 2010). He studied philosophy and economics at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar from Texas (1974-77) and completed his PhD in economics at the University of Chicago in 1981. Full bio »

Clifford Rossi

Clifford Rossi
Executive-in-Residence
Professor of the Practice

Clifford Rossi is an executive-in-residence and professor of the practice at Maryland Smith. He heads up the finance department’s risk management concentration.

Rossi has nearly 25 years of experience in banking and government, having held senior executive roles in risk management at several of the largest financial services companies. He received his PhD from Cornell University. Full bio »

Lemma Senbet 

Lemma Senbet
Founder of the CFP
William E. Mayer Chair Professor of Finance

Lemma W. Senbet is the William E. Mayer Chair Professor of Finance at the University of Maryland, College Park, and former founding director of the Center for Financial Policy. While on an extended leave from the University, Senbet served as executive director and CEO of the African Economic Research Consortium from 2013 to 2018, the largest and oldest economic research and training network in Africa. In 2018, Senbet was appointed by the prime minister of Ethiopia to the advisory council of the Ethiopian Diaspora Trust Fund. He was also appointed to the distinguished advisory board of Brookings Africa Growth Initiative and to the G20 Compact with Africa (CwA) advisory panel. Full bio »

William Longbrake

William Longbrake
Executive-in-Residence

William Longbrake serves as a senior policy advisor to the center.

Longbrake has extensive experience in finance, macroeconomics and monetary policy, risk management, housing, public policy and academia, government, serving both the public and private sectors. As an executive-in-residence at the Smith School, Longbrake works on a variety of business, policy, and governance issues with faculty, students, business leaders, government policymakers, and executives of not-for-profit organizations. Full bio »

David Kass

David Kass
Senior Fellow
Clinical Professor

David Kass has published articles in corporate finance, industrial organization, and health economics. Prior to joining the faculty of the Smith School in 2004, he held senior positions with the federal government (Federal Trade Commission, General Accounting Office, Department of Defense, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis). He has also launched a Smith School “Warren Buffett” blog. Kass has accompanied MBA students on trips to Omaha for private meetings with Warren Buffett, and finance fellows to Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meetings. Full bio »

Steve Wallenstein

Steve Wallenstein
Director, Directors' Institute
Professor of the Practice

Steve Wallenstein serves as a senior policy advisor to the center.

Wallenstein is a senior advisor and served as the director of the Directors' Institute at the CFP, an ongoing series to address the corporate governance failures of diligence, ethics and controls in corporate America. Wallenstein is a recognized expert in corporate governance and best practices for publicly traded companies.

From 1998 to 2009 he was a faculty member at the Fuqua School of Business and Duke Law School, founded the Duke Directors' Education Institute (DEI) in 2002, and established the Duke Global Capital Markets Center (GCMC) in 1998, a collaborative venture between Fuqua and Duke Law.

Mark Flood

Mark D. Flood
Senior Research Scholar

Mark D. Flood is a senior research scholar in the Center for Financial Policy, a visiting research scientist at the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS) and program manager at DARPA. He spent over two decades in financial policy and regulation at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Full bio »

Phillip Swagel

Phillip L. Swagel
Professor in International Economic Policy, Maryland School of Public Policy
On temporary hiatus

Phillip L. Swagel serves as a senior policy advisor to the center.

Swagel is a professor in international economic policy at the Maryland School of Public Policy and a non-resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He is currently the director of the Congressional Budget Office.

Swagel was the assistant secretary for economic policy at the Treasury Department from December 2006 to January 2009 where he advised Secretary Paulson and was a member of the TARP investment committee. He received a bachelor's degree in economics from Princeton University in 1987 and a PhD in economics from Harvard University in 1993. Full bio »

Kristen Fanarakis

Kristen Fanarakis
Senior Consultant

Kristen Fanarakis helps shape the agenda and implement the CFP’s mission.

Fanarakis spent over a decade working in investment management and foreign exchange trading at a variety of major institutions. She received her BA/MBA from UNC-Chapel Hill and the Kenan-Flagler School of Business. She also holds a master’s degree in international economics.

Robert H. Smith School of Business
Map of Robert H. Smith School of Business
University of Maryland
Robert H. Smith School of Business
Van Munching Hall
College Park MD 20742