The Financial Services Technology Consortium has hired Debbie O'Dell, a 10-year Department of Energy veteran, as its first full-time executive director.

Ms. O'Dell was manager of information technology projects at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee until 1997. Since then she has worked with the consortium as a consultant.

Her most important goal, she said, is to add securities and insurance companies to the membership roster. The nonprofit consortium was formed six years ago by Citigroup Inc., Chase Manhattan Corp., and several others among the biggest U.S. banking companies. It now has 75 members, including banks, payment clearing houses, technology vendors, and government agencies.

Ms. O'Dell, 43, took over administration of the group from James Luisi, a former banker who worked for Smith-Bucklin, a Chicago association management firm.

The consortium has spent much effort on the e-check, a virtual, check- like payment system that works via electronic mail. It is being tested by the Treasury and Defense departments.

The group plans to move beyond payment systems into broader technology- related endeavors, said its president, Adam Backenroth, who is also a Chase vice president.

"We are very pleased to have Debbie in this new role," he said. "She will focus on maintaining a solid value proposition for our members."

Ms. O'Dell is a 1986 graduate of the University of Maryland, with a degree in information systems management.

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