New co-directors at CFLP expand its work in financial inclusion 

April 23, 2021

The Center on Finance, Law & Policy (CFLP) has expanded its leadership structure by naming Adrienne Harris and Jeremy Kress as Co-Faculty Directors to serve alongside Dean Michael S. Barr, who co-founded the center in 2013. Professors Harris and Kress already have been involved as senior research fellows.

CFLP is an interdisciplinary research center that draws together faculty and students from more than a dozen of Michigan’s nineteen schools and colleges to work on a broad range of research projects focused on creating a financial system that is safer, fairer, and better harnessed to the real economy.

The CFLP’s largest program, focused on inclusive entrepreneurship, is its Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project, which matches U-M faculty, students, and staff with Detroit local businesses to help those businesses with their business, legal, design, and financial needs. The Center is completing a three year research project about financial inclusion, fintech, and financial regulation called the “Central Bank of the Future.” The CFLP’s other research areas include financial stability and systemic risk, algorithmic financial market manipulation, and consumer protection.

Ford School professor of practice Adrienne Harris is a fintech entrepreneur, as well as an early- and growth-stage investor and advisor. She served as a special assistant to President Obama for economic policy on the National Economic Council. She recently joined Brunswick Group as a senior advisor, where she will focus on a range of complex financial, business, and policy issues. 

“I am looking forward to expanding the important work of the CFLP. From fintech to entrepreneurship to financial health, the CFLP has an excellent track record of bringing together researchers, regulators, and policymakers to produce data-driven recommendations to improve financial services and policy,” says Harris. 

Kress is an assistant professor of business law at the Michigan Ross School of Business. His research focuses on financial regulation with an emphasis on financial institution corporate governance. He is a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Education and Industry Forum on Financial Services Culture.

"The CFLP brings together faculty and students from across the University to solve interdisciplinary problems in the financial system. I'm excited to join the Center as a co-faculty director and help lead its work on systemic risk, consumer protection, and other emerging challenges," he says.

CFLP Assistant Director Christie Baer says, “Financial well-being of both individual consumers and the system as a whole has never been more important. With the addition of Adrienne and Jeremy, we will be able to expand both our research and our search for practical solutions. These experts, from different backgrounds, will allow us to examine how the financial system can be more efficient, adaptable and inclusive in the future.”