Michael S. Barr, deputy assistant secretary of Treasury for community development policy since 1997, is joining the Brookings Institution as a visiting fellow, effective January 22nd. At Brookings, Barr will write about access to capital and financial services, community development, and other matters.
“Michael showed outstanding leadership on community development and financial services issues while at Treasury,” said Robert E. Litan, vice president and director of Economic Studies at Brookings. “We are pleased that he will be continuing his important work in those areas at Brookings.”
Barr’s accomplishments at Treasury included the $25 billion New Markets and Community Renewal Initiative, expansion of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and Empowerment Zones, new financial services initiatives for the “unbanked,” and economic growth incentives for the District of Columbia. Barr provided expertise on the Community Reinvestment Act, fair lending, predatory lending, and community development financial policies. While at Treasury, Barr also served since 1999 as special advisor to President Clinton on the District of Columbia and was executive director of the D.C. Task Force at the Office of Management and Budget.
Brookings places special emphasis on many of the policy areas in which Barr has been active. For instance, the Greater Washington Research Center recently consolidated its research activities into the Brookings Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy, creating a new organization known as the Brookings Greater Washington Research Program.
From 1995 to 1997, Barr was special assistant to then-Secretary of the Treasury Robert E. Rubin, advising the Secretary on budget and tax issues and policies affecting low-income persons.
Prior to joining the Treasury Department, Barr was special advisor and counselor to the policy planning staff at the State Department from 1994 to 1995. He previously was law clerk to Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter.
Barr received his B.A. from Yale. He was a Rhodes Scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford. He received his law degree from Yale Law School.