Advisory Board

The Public Banking Institute’s national leadership in helping establish public banks within municipal, state and Federal government is informed and guided by some of the world’s most prominent economists, researchers and policy influencers:

Gar Alperovitz
Co-Founder, The Democracy Collaborative and Co-Chair, Next System Project

Gar Alperovitz has had a distinguished career as a historian, political economist, activist, writer, and government official. For fifteen years, he was the Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland, and is a former Fellow of Kings College, Cambridge University; Harvard’s Institute of Politics; the Institute for Policy Studies; and a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution.

Gar is the author of critically acclaimed books on the atomic bomb and atomic diplomacy. As a well known policy expert, he has testified before numerous Congressional committees and lectures widely around the country. Among his many achievements is having been the architect of the first modern steel industry attempt at worker ownership in Youngstown, Ohio.  In addition, Gar was nominated to be a member of the Council of Economic Advisers by leading national consumer, labor, and environmental organizations.

He is also the president of the National Center for Economic and Security Alternatives and is a founding principal of the Democracy Collaborative, a research institution developing practical, policy-focused, and systematic paths towards ecologically sustainable, community-oriented change and the democratization of wealth.


Marc Armstrong made a founding contribution to the Public Banking Institute during its originating years and has helped shape the focus of both the organization and the public banking movement nationally. As PBI’s first Executive Director, Marc applied his expertise in business development gained from his work at IBM Finance. An advocate for economic equity and justice, Marc guided PBI’s initial direction in response to the banking scandals of 2008 and the Occupy Wall Street movement, later starting CommonomicsUSA, a nonprofit which brought focus to the importance of the public commons as a way to ensure economic rights. Marc helped launch the California Public Bank Alliance and consults elsewhere in the field. He holds an MBA from UCLA in Management Information Systems.

Professor of Banking Law at the University of California, Irvine

Mehrsa Baradaran, Esq. is currently a professor of banking law at the University of California, Irvine. Baradaran’s latest book, The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap was awarded the PROSE Award Honorable Mention in the Business, Finance & Management category. Baradaran writes about banking law, financial inclusion, inequality, and the racial wealth gap, and her books have received significant national and international media coverage and have been featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Slate, American Banker, The Wall Street Journal, and Financial Times.

Professor of Law and Public Policy at the Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law

Tim Canova is a Professor of Law and Public Policy at the Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law. He previously served as legislative assistant to the late U.S. Senator Paul E. Tsongas, practiced law on Wall Street, was a Swedish Institute Visiting Scholar at the University of Stockholm, taught at the Chapman University School of Law where he was Professor of International Economic Law and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Tim’s work on central banking has been published in dozens of book chapters and scholarly journals, including in the Oxford University Press, Edward Elgar Publishing, Harvard Law & Policy Review, and The American Journal of Economics and Sociology. He was an early critic of financial deregulation and the Federal Reserve under Alan Greenspan, argued against the International Monetary Fund’s program for capital account liberalization, warned of an impending crisis in the bubble economy throughout the Bush administration, and was active in Occupy Wall Street after the 2008 financial collapse. He has been a leading critic of the Wall Street capture of the Federal Reserve and the myth of central bank independence. In 2011, he was appointed by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to serve with distinguished economists on a blue-ribbon Advisory Committee on Federal Reserve Reform.

Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law, Harvard University

Christine Desan teaches about the political economy of capitalism, the constitutional law of money, the international monetary system, constitutional history, and legal theory. Her research explores money as a legal and political project, one that configures the market it sets out to measure. In Making Money: Coin, Currency, and the Coming of Capitalism (Oxford University Press, 2014), she argues that a radical change in money’s design introduced modern capitalism: the government delegated money creation to private investors. That change institutionalized the profit motive as the engine of the political economy and privileged credit allocation by banks, which distribute the money supply as they expand it. She explores the ramifications of those shifts in subsequent publications.

Desan is the founder and managing editor of, a website that explores money as a critical site of governance. She also co-founded Harvard’s Program on the Study of Capitalism, an interdisciplinary project designed to bring together classes, resources, research funds, and advising aimed at exploring that topic. With its co-director, Prof. Sven Beckert, she taught the Program’s anchoring research seminar, the Workshop on the Political Economy of Modern Capitalism, from 2005 to 2015. Desan is on the Steering Committee of the Massachusetts Public Banking and co-authored legislation that would establish a state bank designed to reach borrowers in marginalized communities, cities and towns, enterprises aimed at climate change, and other underserved ends.

Desan was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study during the 2015-2016 academic year and at the Massachusetts Historical Society in the fall of 2016. She is on the Board of the Institute for Global Law and Policy, is a faculty member of the Program on American Studies at Harvard University, and has served on the editorial board for the Law and History Review and as an advisory editor of Eighteenth Century Studies. In Brookline, MA, Desan served for 10 years on a town committee that researched and drafted legislation promoting campaign finance reform, and that supervised that reform once it was enacted.

Public Policy Consultant

Dr. Amara Enyia is a Public Policy expert on city and state policy as well as international affairs / foreign policy with expertise in Central Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. She writes extensively on issues of education, economic development, fiscal policy, equity in policy, and systems thinking.

In addition to Bachelors degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science, Dr. Enyia holds a Masters degree in education, a law degree, and a PhD in Education Policy. She has worked as a grassroots organizer particularly around issues of education equity, economic justice and environmental justice. She has served as part of local and national efforts to diversify the economic ecosystem through educating, advocating and developing policy for cooperative economic models and financing tools that support cooperative enterprises. She also serves as a leading advocate for efforts to establish public banks in cities and states across the country. In addition to her public policy consulting work, Dr. Enyia is a political consultant and strategist.

She serves as a formal representative of the African Union in the Diaspora representing the 6th Region of the African Union Commission. She also serves on the boards of the Chicago Community Loan Fund, and the Global Strategists Association. She maintains proficiency in Igbo, Spanish, French and Portuguese and was named a Public Policy Global Leadership Fellow with the Global Strategists Association. Dr. Enyia serves as a regular commentator and contributor on policy and politics for various media outlets.

Author, Educator, and Community Economist

Thomas H. Greco, Jr. is a preeminent scholar, author, educator, and community economist. He is widely regarded as a leading authority on moneyless exchange, community currencies, and financial innovation, and is a sought after speaker internationally. He has conducted workshops and lectured in 15 countries on five continents and has been advisor to currency projects in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, India, China, Africa, New Zealand and elsewhere. He has authored numerous articles and books, the most recent of which is titled, The End of Money and the Future of Civilization.

Tom Greco holds an MBA from the University of Rochester and a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Villanova University. He’s a former college professor, and spent a year in residence doing doctoral study in Management, and Instructional Technology at Syracuse University. His work experience includes 5 years as an aerospace engineer and 14 years in academia, where he held a tenured faculty position at Rochester Institute of Technology. His expertise includes monetary theory, complementary currency and exchange systems, computer applications, statistics, and survey research.

Assistant Professor of Law, Willamette University College of Law

Rohan Grey is an Assistant Professor of Law at Willamette University and author of Digitizing the Dollar: The Battle for the Soul of Public Money in the Age of Cryptocurrency (Melville House, 2021). His research focuses on the legal design and regulation of money and finance, including digital fiat currency, as well as broader issues of law and political economy. He teaches Contracts, Business Organizations, and Securities Regulation. He previously co-taught seminars on Fintech and Monies with Professor Robert Hockett at Cornell Law School, where he was a fellow with the Clarke Business Law Institute’s Program on the Law and Regulation of Financial Institutions and Markets, and facilitated a reading group on Law, Money, and Finance at Columbia Law School with Professor Jeffrey N. Gordon. 

Rohan is the President of the Modern Money Network, the Research Director of the Digital Fiat Currency Institute, and a consultant to the International Telecommunications Union’s Focus Group on Digital Currency. He is also a Research Fellow with the Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity, and a member of ClassCrits and the Association for the Promotion of Political Economy and Law (APPEAL). He holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School and a L.L.M. from the London School of Economics, and prior to entering academia practiced as an attorney for children in New York City. 

Research Director at The Democracy Collaborative; Co-Director of TDC’s Theory, Policy, and Research Division

Thomas M. Hanna is Research Director at The Democracy Collaborative and Co-Director of the organization’s Theory, Policy, and Research Division. He joined TDC in 2010 as a research assistant to Gar Alperovitz. Thomas’ areas of expertise include democratic models of ownership and governance, particularly public and cooperative ownership. He has published dozens of articles in popular and academic journals, and his recent publications include Our Common Wealth: The Return of Public Ownership in the United States (Manchester University Press, 2018), The Crisis Next Time: Planning for Public Ownership as an Alternative to Corporate Bank Bailouts (Next System Project, 2018) and, with Andrew Cumbers, Constructing the Democratic Public Enterprise (Democracy Collaborative, 2019). A dual citizen of the United States and the United Kingdom, he has advised the UK Labour Party on democratic public ownership and has served on the Advisory Board of two European Research Council funded academic research projects: Transforming Public Policy Through Economic Democracy and Global Remunicipalisation and the Post-Neoliberal Turn. He received his M.A. and B.A. degrees in history from Virginia Commonwealth University, and is currently pursuing a PhD in political economy at the University of Glasgow.

Washington State Senator

Washington State Senator Bob Hasegawa began representing the 11th Legislative District in 2005, first in the House of Representatives through 2012 and now in the Senate. He is a longtime labor and social justice activist. He led many workers struggles, winning top wages and benefits for working families and retirees, and he collaborated in many social justice struggles to protect civil rights, democracy, the environment and our constitutional rights. For 32 years, Bob was a member of the Teamsters Union, where he rose through the ranks to become the elected leader of the largest Teamster trucking industry and general workers local union in the Pacific Northwest (Teamsters Local 174) for three terms (nine years), and was also a leader in the national Teamsters pro-union democracy reform movement, Teamsters for a Democratic Union. As a union/community organizer, Bob has long sought to build bridges between social justice organizations, particularly those serving the labor, environmental, religious and Asian Pacific Islander communities. He was a founding member and has served on the local and national executive boards of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance AFL-CIO, the King County Labor Council and other boards of community based organizations. He continues to serve on two boards at the University of Washington (Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies, and the Dan Evans School of Public Policy and Governance), and the Japanese American Citizens League.

Bob’s Senate Standing Committees include Rules, Ways and Means, State Government and Tribal Relations, and is the Vice Chair of Financial Institutions, Insurance, Economic Development, Trade and Tourism. He is also a member of several committees that serve the people: Legislative Committee on Economic Development and International Relations (LCEDIR), Joint Legislative Audit and Review (JLARC), Joint Administrative Rules Review(JARRC), Election Administration and Certification Board, the Washington-Hyogo Friendship Council, and is the SDC Delegate to the Pacific NW Economic Region (PNWER). Bob’s priorities in state government have centered around serving as a voice for working families, small businesses and disenfranchised communities.

Edward Cornell Professor of Law

Robert Hockett joined the Cornell Law Faculty in 2004. His principal teaching, research, and writing interests lie in the fields of organizational, financial, and monetary law and economics in both their positive and normative, as well as their national and transnational, dimensions. His guiding concern in these fields is with the legal and institutional prerequisites to a just, prosperous, and sustainable economic order.

A Fellow of the Century Foundation and regular commissioned author for the New America Foundation, Hockett also does regular consulting work for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the International Monetary Fund, Americans for Financial Reform, the ‘Occupy’ Cooperative, and a number of federal and state legislators and local governments.

Prior to doing his doctoral work and entering academe, he worked for the International Monetary Fund and clerked for the Honorable Deanell Reece Tacha, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri

Michael Hudson is President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and author of ….and forgive them their debts – Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption from Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year (2018). J is for Junk Economics (2017), Killing the Host (2015), The Bubble and Beyond (2012), Super-Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (1968 & 2003), Trade, Development and Foreign Debt (1992 & 2009) and The Myth of Aid (1971), amongst many others.

ISLET engages in research regarding domestic and international finance, national income and balance-sheet accounting with regard to real estate, and the economic history of the ancient Near East. Michael acts as an economic advisor to governments worldwide including Iceland, Latvia and China on finance and tax law.

Senior Lecturer, Department of Development Studies SOAS, University of London

Thomas Marois is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Development Studies, SOAS University of London. He works in the fields of political economy and finance for development, with his research focusing on public banks and the financing of sustainable development in ways that traverse traditional north/south divides. He is a member of the Municipal Services Project, a global network of researchers investigating public alternatives to privatisation and commercialisation. In addition to his academic posts, Thomas has worked in the NGO, private, and public sectors in Canada and Latin America. His book Public Banks: Decarbonization, Definancialisation and Democratisation was published by Cambridge University Press in May 2021.

Chief Executive Officer, Genesee Co-op Federal Credit Union

Melissa Marquez is Chief Executive Officer of Genesee Co-op Federal Credit Union in Rochester, NY, a community development credit union & CDFI with $35 million in assets and 4200 members. She has worked as a CEO for 27 years and is Board President of City Roots Community Land Trust. Melissa is dedicated to community development interests and is on the Steering Committee of the NYS Community Equity Agenda Coalition. Her leadership brought Genesee Co-op Federal Credit Union in as a founding member of the Rochester Public Banking Coalition, on which Melissa serves as a member of its steering committee. She has an Master of Science degree in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Santa Clara University. She has served on the Boards of Directors of Inclusiv, the Institute for Community Economics, Abundance Cooperative Market and OWN Rochester and has deep hands-on experience working in the field of grassroots cooperative economics for her entire career.

Former Chair and CEO of First Washington Bancorp, Former faculty member of the Federal Reserve System

Bill Sinclair was formerly Chairman and CEO of First Washington Bancorp, an 18 billion dollar bank holding company. Prior to First Washington, he was President of American Federal Bank, Perpetual American Bank, and Nuwest Bankshares. Sinclair was also a faculty member of the Federal Reserve System, the Mortgage Bankers Association, the AT&T School of Banking, and the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, serving as an expert on Mortgage and Investment Banking. In addition, he was a guest lecturer quarterly on Economic and Political Issues at Northwestern University’s Graduate School of Management, from 1980 to 1990.

Bill was a member of the Board of Directors of Firemans Insurance Co., The Greater Washington Board of Trade, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, Republic Mortgage Insurance Co., and the Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Va.

From 1982 to 1984 Sinclair testified at the Congressional Hearings on Banking Legislation and Deregulation. In 1989 he was elected President of the Greater Washington Board of Trade and became a member of the Young Presidents Organization. In 1995 he became Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Liberty Capital Markets in Irvine Ca. Sinclair served as Naval Officer during the Vietnam Era.

Civic educator. Public defender.

Tom Tresser is an educator, organizer, creativity champion, public defender, and fighter of privatization. He has been doing civic engagement and grassroots democracy efforts for over 40 years. In 2008 he was a co-founder of Protect Our Parks, a neighborhood effort to stop the privatization of public space in Chicago. He was a lead organizer for No Games Chicago, an all-volunteer grassroots effort that opposed Chicago’s 2016 Olympic bid. He is the lead organizer for the TIF Illumination Project that is investigating and explaining the impacts of Tax Increment Financing districts on a ward-by-ward basis. With Benjamin Sugar Tom co-founded The CivicLab in 2013, a co-working space where activists, educators, coders, and designers came to work, collaborate, teach, and build tools for civic engagement.

In July of 2016, Tom published a book of short articles by local experts on how we can save and generate $5 billion in sustainable and progressive revenues for Chicago, including the establishment of a public bank for Chicago. Chicago Is Not Broke. Funding the City We Deserve was made possible by a crowdfunding campaign that attracted 203 contributors. Legendary political organizer Don Rose calls it “required reading.” To date the book has triggered 66 public meetings around the book attended by over 2,300 people.

Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Visiting Professor International Affairs, New School University, New York City; Co-founder Democracy at Work; Host “Economic Update with Richard D. Wolff”

Richard D. Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus at UMass Amherst and a visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University in New York. Richard Wolff is also a co-founder and active contributor of his non-profit: Democracy at Work and host of Economic Update with Richard D. Wolff.

In memoriam

The Public Banking Institute was fortunate and honored to have had the guidance of the following leaders as Advisory Board members.


World renowned futurist, evolutionary economist, a worldwide syndicated columnist, consultant on sustainable development, and author of The Axiom and Nautilus award-winning book Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy (2006) and eight other books.

Emma Chappell
Emma Chappell

Emma Chappell, trailblazer as an African American in commerce and banking. First female Vice President of a major bank in all of Pennsylvania. In 1992, Chappell founded the United Bank of Philadelphia from scratch — personally raising over $6 million in capital — and served as its president and CEO.


Mike Gravel was an American politician who served as a United States Senator from Alaska from 1969 to 1981. A member of the Democratic Party, he ran for president in the 2008 and 2020 elections. After losing office in 1980, Gravel incorporated two California non-profit corporations: Direct Democracy and Philadelphia II, both dedicated to the establishment of direct democracy in United States.

Charles Grigsby

Charles T. Grigsby held numerous public executive roles in finance and banking, including President of the Massachusetts Growth Capital Fund and Chairman and Managing Director at Trillium Asset Management Corp. He served on the Federal Reserve Bank Small Business Advisory Committee, and as Chair of the Boston Private Bank. As Director of Boston’s Neighborhood Development Department, Chuck provided financing for affordable housing, economic development, and all capital construction.

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