Richard Cordray

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Richard Cordray
Richard Cordray.jpg
Location Washington, D.C.

Richard Cordray was the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which he led from 2013 to 2017, when he resigned from the agency.

Prior to his appointment, Cordray variously served as Ohio's Attorney General, Solicitor General, and Treasurer.confirmed as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on July 16, 2013.[1] [2] The confirmation came one day shy of the second anniversary of his nomination by President Barack Obama.

Cordray previously led the Bureau’s enforcement division.[3] He is a known bank critic who has targeted and sued companies like Bank of America Corp., JP Morgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. in an effort to change mortgage servicing practices and protect state pension funds.[4] Obama originally installed Cordray at the agency in January 2012, when Congress was in recess, saying that the move fulfilled the legal requirement for the agency to exercise its powers. However, the banking industry largely opposed the creation of the CFPB and tried to prevent Cordray’s confirmation. (Republicans in Congress had said they would block any nominee to lead the agency, demanding that Democrats agree to eliminate the position and replace it with a board of directors.)

Cordray was nominated as director of the CFPB in the Senate Banking Committee on Oct. 6, 2011.[5]

Obama's decision to nominate Cordray was somewhat controversial because Elizabeth Warren, assistant to the president and special advisor to the secretary of the treasury on the CFPB, was passed over to lead the agency.[6][7] Obama had appointed Warren to oversee the creation of the CFPB, and she brought Cordray in after he lost a bid for re-election as Ohio attorney general.


Cordray served last as Ohio's attorney general from November 2008 to January 2011, but lost his bid for re-election to Mike DeWine.[8] [9] During his time as attorney general, Cordray led investigations into a number of financial companies.

Before entering politics, Cordray was a litigator for law firm Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue. He also served as a law clerk for two Supreme Court justices, Byron R. White and Anthony Kennedy. [10] Since 1989, Cordray has been an adjunct professor of law at Ohio State University.

In 1987, Cordray was an undefeated five-time champion on the television game show Jeopardy!.


Cordray earned a J.D. with honors in 1986 from the University of Chicago, where he served as editor-in-chief of the university's law review. In 1983, he earned a M.A. in philosophy, politics, and economics from Oxford University. He earned a B.A. in 1981 from Michigan State University, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a degree in legal and political theory.[11]


  1. Vote Ushers In New Era in Oversight of Lending Practices. The New York Times.
  2. W.H. attorneys clear Cordray nomination. Politico.
  3. About Rich Cordray. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
  4. Obama’s Pick for Consumer Agency Has Record of Fighting Banks. Bloomberg.
  5. Senate committee approves Richard Cordray to head consumer agency. Los Angeles Times.
  6. The case against nominating Elizabeth Warren. Washington Post.
  7. A Big Week for the New Consumer Agency. Huffington Post.
  8. Mike DeWine. Ohio Attorney General's Office.
  9. Staff Profiles. CFPB.
  10. Who Is Richard Cordray? Here’s Why Wall Street Is Afraid of Him. Business Insider.
  11. Full Biography for Richard Cordray. League of Women Voters Smart Voter.