WASHINGTON — On the day when Sheila Bair officially stepped down as chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the agency announced her next move.

Bair will join the Pew Charitable Trusts as a senior advisor starting Sept. 7. Meanwhile, Martin Gruenberg, the FDIC's vice chairman under Bair, was set to assume the position of acting chairman at the close of business Friday. He is currently the Obama administration's nominee to take the helm of the agency.

Bair's departure capped a historic five-year term during which she steered the agency through the 2008 financial crisis and the post-crisis debate over reforming the regulatory system. Along the way, she significantly boosted the FDIC's profile and earned a reputation as an unwavering regulator.

"It has been a remarkable journey," she said in a press release. "I feel honored to have served two presidents and privileged to have led this great agency that worked so effectively to preserve confidence and stability in the banking system at a critical time."

A former assistant Treasury secretary for financial institutions and Senate staffer, Bair, a Kansas native, joined the FDIC in 2006 after having been a professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Gruenberg has been FDIC vice chairman since August 2005. He also was acting chairman from November 2005 to June 2006. Before the FDIC, he worked for former Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md., on the Banking Committee.

"While I will truly miss the organization, I have the utmost confidence in Marty's stewardship of the FDIC and its unparalleled professional staff," Bair said.

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