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Jelena McWilliams: How a Student Exchange Programme Changed Her Life


Currently, the most positioned American of Serbian descent, in the Trump administration, is Jelena McWilliams, Chairman of the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. At age 18, she went to the US with $ 500 in her pocket and today she takes care off  $ 13 trillion. She told RTS that she had no idea that her great dreams would be fulfilled.

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Jelena McWilliams, talking on the RTS’s Morning Program, said she was successful thanks to her hard work.

First she worked as a lawyer in Silicon Valley, then moved to Washington, worked at the National Bank during the crisis and then the Senate, where she met Republicans.

Afterwards, she was a chief legal officer at one of the largest US banks, from which she was called to a position at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

She went to America in 1991 for a student exchange.

“I knew I had to leave. With $ 500 in my pocket, I went to see if I could succeed in another system,” said Jelena McWilliams, who takes care off $ 13 trillion today.

She says that her institution is striving to be independent, and that the key thing is not to make political contacts.

As she explained, the US deposit insurance system is the oldest in the world, and other systems have been set up following the US model.

Speaking about the Deposit Insurance Agency in Serbia, she stated that a major step had been made and that she was proud of her colleagues here.

She emphasized that it is very important for the stability of society that there is such a form of protection for citizens.

When it came to the economic crisis, she said that there was a mess in 2008, because banks took too much risk on themselves that spilled over into the financial market. At that time, about 500 US banks were closed.

Asked if a new crisis was possible, Jelena McWilliams said that financial indicators and the percentage of unemployed in different regions were constantly monitored. She thinks a new crisis will come sooner or later.




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