Federal Reserve System Payments Strategy Director Gordon Werkema to Retire

June 16, 2017

Gordon Werkema to Retire as Federal Reserve’s Payments Strategy Director

Federal Reserve System Payments Strategy Director Gordon Werkema announced today that he will retire in September.

As payments strategy director, Werkema has led the ongoing initiative to ensure that consumers and businesses have access to an efficient, real time, and secure payments network in the United States.

Werkema was instrumental in the development of the Federal Reserve’s 2015 “Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System,” a plan to support five specific strategies in which the Federal Reserve and various private sector businesses, financial services providers, consumer groups, and government agencies would collaborate to make improvements to the national payment system.

“We want to express our gratitude to Gordon for taking on this key leadership role for the Federal Reserve System and the U.S. payments industry,” said Esther George, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and sponsor of the payments improvement initiative. “His work has been central to the success of these efforts to date, including the important accomplishments of the Faster Payments Task Force and the Secure Payments Task Force.”

Before assuming his current role in 2015, Werkema was first vice president and chief operating officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, a position he held for nearly 15 years. As first vice president, Werkema supervised all Bank operations and served as the product director of the System’s National Customer Relations and Support Office. As product director, he oversaw a technological modernization of the Federal Reserve’s payments network. Prior to accepting the Chicago Fed role, Werkema spent 20 years in the San Francisco District, where he ultimately served as executive vice president. Werkema holds a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University.

“During his 35-year career with the Fed, Gordon has made many extraordinary contributions to both the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and to the System as a whole,” said Charles Evans, president and chief executive officer of the Chicago Fed. “He has played a key role in modernizing the Federal Reserve’s national payments services, strengthening stakeholder relationships, and developing a generation of Fed leaders. Gordon will be missed, but his legacy of excellence will continue long after he retires.”

Werkema said he has taken great pride in having dedicated a major part of his career to public service and the important work of the Federal Reserve.

“The Fed is an organization with extraordinary integrity and it’s been an honor to work with so many talented and committed people. I am convinced that the Fed and the payments industry have brought the right leaders to the table and will continue to do so to support improvements to our national payment system that will bring significant benefits to consumers and businesses now and well into the future,” Werkema said.

Media Contacts:

Federal Reserve Board:
Susan Stawick , (202) 452-2955

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago:
Doug Tillett, (312) 322-5201