The Hon. Barney Frank, former Congressman (D-MA) will be in conversation with Thomas B. Edsall, opinion columnist for The New York Times on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at 12 noon in the Driskell Center of the Cole Student Activities Building. Hosted by the Center for the Study of Business Ethics, Regulation and Crime (C-BERC), the Robert H. Smith School of Business, and the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. Reception to follow. RSVP: go.umd.edu/2019FishlingerLecture
Barney Frank served as a U.S. Congressman from 1981 to 2013 and the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee from 2007 to 2011. While in Congress, Frank worked to adjust America’s spending priorities to provide less funding for the military, and more funding for important quality-of-life needs at home. In particular, he focused on providing aid to local communities and to building and preserving affordable rental housing for low-income people. He was also a leader in the fight against discrimination of various sorts. He championed the interests of the poor, the underprivileged, and the vulnerable, and he won reelection 15 times by double-digit margins.
As Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, Frank was instrumental in crafting the short-term $700 billion rescue plan in response to the mortgage crisis, and he then worked for the adoption of a sweeping set of financial regulations aimed at preventing a recurrence. He was the co-author of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the regulatory overhaul signed into law in July 2010. He also led passage of the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act, a measure that drew praise from editorial boards and consumer advocates.
In 1987 he became the first Member of Congress to voluntarily acknowledge that he is gay, and in 2012 became the first sitting Member of Congress to marry a same-sex partner, James Ready.
He has written two books: "Speaking Frankly" (1992), a critique of some aspects of the Democrats approach to public policy; and a political memoir published in 2015, "Frank: From the Great Society to Same Sex Marriage." The book was nominated for a Triangle Award and co-won the Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction.
Thomas B. Edsall is a weekly opinion columnist for The New York Times, a position he has held since 2011, covering demographic and strategic trends in American politics. From 2006 to 2014 he held the Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Pulitzer Moore Chair in Public Affairs Journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Since 2014, he has been an adjunct professor at Columbia. Edsall covered national politics for The Washington Post for 25 years, from 1981 to 2006. He has been a contributing writer for The New York Review of Books, The New Republic, The Atlantic, National Journal, The Washington Monthly, Harper’s, Dissent, and other magazines. He has written five books, including The Age of Austerity; Building Red America; Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics; Power and Money; and The New Politics of Inequality. He is the winner of the Carey McWilliams Award of the American Political Science Association, the Noel Markwell Media Award, and was a Pulitzer finalist in 1992 in General Nonfiction. He lives with his wife, Mary, in Washington, D.C.