Finance Grand Challenges Speaker Series

Finance Grand Challenges is a new speaker series that brings heavy hitters in the world of finance to Smith. Our extraordinary lineup of speakers includes White House appointees, Treasury Department officials and others who hold impressive positions in government and private industry, including a number of respected and widely published scholars.

Past Events

The Unsustainable U.S. Federal Budget | February 12
Tyler Goodspeed, Chief Economist for ExxonMobile Corporation, Former Acting Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors
Phillip Swagel, Director of the Congressional Budget Office, Former Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the U.S. Treasury Department

Digital Assets and Fintech | March 6 
Brian Morgenstern, Head of Public Policy, Riot Platforms, Former White House Deputy Communications Director and Deputy Press Secretary, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the U.S. Treasury Department
Heath Tarbert, Chief Legal Officer and Head of Corporate Affairs at Circle, Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for International Markets & Development, Former Chief Executive of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission 

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Student Loan Forgiveness | April 2 
Sandy Baum, Nonresident Senior Fellow, the Urban Institute and Professor Emerita of Economics, Skidmore College 
Diane Jones, Former Acting Undersecretary, Department of Education for Postsecondary Education

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Entrepreneurship and Small Business | May 7
Ben Cardin, senior U.S. senator for Maryland, senior member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee 
Linda McMahon, former administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration, former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment

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The Unsustainable U.S. Federal Budget

In this inaugural Finance Grand Challenges Speaker Series, our distinguished guests explained and shared perspectives on national debt, evaluated policy effects on our current state, and gave insights into the possibilities for the future.

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Digital Assets and Fintech

Finance is going through a once-in-a-generation technology revolution. Everything from retail banking to wealth management has moved online, and the sector’s rapid growth has fueled innovation, created new opportunities for value creation and generated a host of new challenges. At the heart of it all is this question: How will people pay for things in the future?

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Student Loan Forgiveness

Expert guests participated in a candid discussion of the $1.65 trillion financial aid debt puzzle, the rising cost of education, and the pros and cons of student loan forgiveness. 

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Entrepreneurship and Small Business

During the discussion of the challenges and opportunities entrepreneurs and small businesses face, a key insight was that reliable and stable government policies for small businesses are crucial to their continued success. 

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