WASHINGTON — Former Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair has been named president of Washington College, a small liberal arts school in Chestertown, Md.

The move returns Bair to higher education four years after she stepped down as head of the FDIC. Prior to being tapped by the Bush administration to run the agency in 2006, Bair taught at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

"If the financial crisis taught us anything, it is that we need decision-makers in both the public and private sectors who understand the social, ethical, and economic consequences of their actions — who can appreciate the historical and cultural context of the global environment in which we live, and who will be committed to the health and prosperity of not only their generation, but of generations to come," Bair said in a press release issued by Washington College. "That is the kind of education that Washington College has been providing to generations of students."

After leading the FDIC during one of the agency's most tumultuous periods in its history, Bair was selected as a senior advisor to the Pew Charitable Trusts and oversaw the Systemic Risk Council, a non-government group that develops recommendations for financial reform. She has also served on numerous boards, including that of Banco Santander. She was recently named as senior policy advisor at the law firm DLA Piper.

Washington College has about 1,400 students and is located on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

In an interview, Bair said it is not yet determined how active a role she will continue to have with the Systemic Risk Council, but she plans to remain engaged in public policy discussions.

"Rest assured, in whatever capacity I am I will still be speaking up for financial reform and measures to make sure we have a stable financial system so that we don't get into another 2008 situation," she said. "I will find a way to continue to be active in those areas."

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