President Biden nominates Tanya Otsuka for NCUA board

Tanya Otsuka has been nominated to be the newest member of the National Credit Union Administration’s board of directors.

On Thursday, President Biden announced Otsuka’s nomination alongside three other candidates for leadership positions within the Department of Defense, U.S. Agency for International Development and the Export Import Bank of the United States.

While in her current role as senior counsel under Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, within the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Otsuka has been tasked with managing the legislative body’s work on banking and credit union issues. She has held the position since March 2020.

“As a public servant, Ms. Otsuka has dedicated her entire career to fighting for consumers, credit unions and other small financial institutions and a strong financial system. … She will bring a fresh perspective and support for the president’s work to build an economy centered on working families,” Brown said in a press release on Thursday.

If confirmed, Otsuka would succeed Rodney Hood, whose term on the board officially expired on Aug. 2 of this year. She would also be the first Asian American to sit on the NCUA’s board in the organization’s 53-year history. Hood was appointed as chairman of the NCUA by former U.S. President Trump in 2019, and was succeeded in 2021 by current chairman Todd Harper.

Hood has led the charge on many initiatives to promote financial inclusion during his tenure, such as the debuts of the ACCESS, or Advancing Communities through Credit, Education, Stability and Support office in 2020 and the Office of Innovation and Access in 2021.

Prior to her work with the Senate, Otsuka was a staff attorney and counsel for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., joining in May 2010 as a law clerk.

With her experience in the financial services industry and her unique perspective, Otsuka is a “committed public servant and a well-qualified nominee to serve on the NCUA Board,” said Todd Harper, chairman of the NCUA, in a press release on Thursday.

“Tanya’s past work has strengthened the U.S. financial system, protected consumers and advanced the ability of credit unions to innovate and compete,” Harper said.

This year has brought about significant change for the credit union ecosystem as a whole, with the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions and the Credit Union National Association announcing plans to combine and better serve member institutions.

Additionally, the trend of young professionals filling leadership roles across the credit union industry has grown in recent years, as seasoned executives reach retirement age or leave for other opportunities. As a result, these openings create an opportunity for credit unions to get an infusion of fresh perspectives in the top ranks that are more reflective of their changing membership.

“Ms. Otsuka brings a wealth of financial experience and knowledge to the position and will be a valuable resource for NCUA,” Michael Fryzel, a lawyer and former NCUA chairman, said in an emailed statement to American Banker.

Courtesy of Frank Gargano and Ken McCarthy, American Banker