Help wanted: Agency seeks ‘disruptor’ to lead new innovation office, head up tech lab

A “disruptor” who understands the need for transformative change and the process for developing and using new technologies in financial services is the ideal candidate for the new chief innovation officer (CINO) position at the federal insurer of bank deposits, according to a job description posted this week.

Applications for the position at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) are being taken through Oct. 10; the job pays up to $283,000 per annum. The job was opened for applications Sept. 10.

The new CINO, when hired, will head up the agency’s new FDIC Technology office (FDiTech) and, in particular, the agency’s new tech lab.

In 2018, FDIC Board Chairman Jelena McWilliams announced the agency was setting up an “Office of Innovation,” to be guided by a CINO at the agency, who would also oversee a new tech lab. The purpose of the innovation office, McWilliams has said, is to partner with banks and non-banks to understand the effects of technology on the business of banking.

However, since then the agency has had some challenges in setting up the new office. Last month, in remarks to a group meeting in Washington, she said the agency was still searching for a CINO and invited members of the audience to send her resumes. “The FDIC is hiring innovators, and I am impatient for transformation,” she said.

According to the job description, the CINO will lead FDiTech and serve as the “principal advisor to the Chairman, the Board of Directors, Deputy to the Chairman, Division/Office Directors and other FDIC executive leadership on issues, proposals, and other matters within the scope of the FDiTech mission.” That mission is to promote the adoption of innovative technologies in the financial services sector, according to the FDIC.

Qualifications for the position include one year of executive-level experience in private industry and/or in a government agency (equivalent in the federal government to CG/GS-15 or above), as well as:

  • Directing or managing the development and deployment of technology in the banking, financial services, or non-financial services sector for purposes of minimizing institutional and/or sector risks from such technology, improving the safety and soundness of financial institutions, supporting economic inclusion and consumer protection, or supporting the availability of innovative and safe financial products and services.
  • Developing and executing a strategic process to manage the regulatory compliance associated with development and deployment of technology in the banking or financial services sector, including engagement with Congress, domestic or international regulatory bodies, and community and consumer advocacy groups.
  • Developing and executing a strategic plan to engage stakeholders (including company or agency leadership, shareholders, advocacy groups, legislative or regulatory bodies, and/or the public) regarding the prudent and responsible development and deployment of technology within the banking or financial services sector, including supporting cultural transformation and improved confidence to accept technology as a key enabler of efficient, effective, and secure financial activities.

In all cases, applicants must have performed those duties at a banking, financial services, or non-financial services technology company or within a federal or state financial regulatory agency.

The FDIC is also advertising for a chief data officer (salary up to $273,000 per annum) to lead vision, design, and development of a data and information management strategy at the agency. The position fosters a data-driven culture by communicating awareness and understanding of data needs, objectives, and direction to appropriate stakeholders and users throughout the FDIC, the notice states. The position reports to the chief information officer; applications are being taken until Sept. 23.

FDIC Technology (FDiTech): Job description/posting for new Chief Innovation Officer (CINO)