Announcements, Faster Payments

Sean Rodriguez Embarks on His Next Quest: Retirement

Federal Reserve Faster Payments Strategy Leader Sean Rodriguez will retire from the Federal Reserve Bank effective January 4, 2019. Rodriguez, an executive vice president and 35-year veteran of the Federal Reserve, is leaving on a high note after steering multi-year collaborative industry efforts to a successful conclusion with the launch of a new industry-led organization, the U.S. Faster Payments Council (FPC) (Off-site).

“Sean was tireless in his enthusiasm and dedication to rallying diverse payments stakeholders around a vision of safe, efficient and ubiquitous faster payments in the United States by 2020,” said Federal Reserve Payments Strategy Director Dave Sapenaro. “His leadership and facilitation were instrumental in the industry coming together in an unprecedented feat of collaboration and inclusive problem solving that will now carry forward in the mission and guiding principles of the FPC.”

As Faster Payments Strategy Leader, in 2015 Rodriguez established and led the 320-member Faster Payments Task Force (Off-site) through a series of industry milestones, including the development of faster payments effectiveness criteria, an evaluation of faster payments industry solutions, and the creation of key recommendations for advancing faster payments in the United States. One of the recommendations – to establish a faster payments governance framework – became Rodriguez’s chief focus in 2018. He led 27 diverse industry stakeholders, known as the Governance Framework Formation Team (GFFT), in planning, deliberating and drafting the Operating Vision and bylaws for what is now the U.S. Faster Payments Council (Off-site).

“It’s been very rewarding to work with so many across the industry to achieve real progress in payments the past several years,” said Rodriguez. “I hope the strong collaboration among stakeholders and the Federal Reserve will continue to ensure the world class payment system we’ve collectively envisioned for our country becomes a reality.”

Earlier in his career, Rodriguez led the formation of the Federal Reserve’s Industry Relations Program and engaged payments stakeholders in the development of the Federal Reserve’s 2015 paper, “Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System (PDF).” This seminal work gave rise to the faster payments strategy Rodriguez led, in addition to other priorities for improving the payment system. Before this, Rodriguez spent more than a dozen years in the Customer Relations and Support Office, spearheading creation of the National Sales function and ultimately leading National Sales and Marketing for Federal Reserve Financial Services.

Rodriguez will be fondly remembered by many for his charismatic leadership, good humor, strategic focus and unrelenting drive to unite an industry around a modern payment vision, where any American can pay another, anytime, anywhere, and with near-immediate funds availability.

Starting in January 2019, Rodriguez’s role as Faster Payments Strategy Leader will be assumed by Senior Vice President and Industry Relations Director Connie Theien, who has partnered with Rodriguez to design and manage faster payments industry efforts since 2015.