Matthew Roberts, 31, is on a roll.

In June, just s.even months after joining the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as special counsel, he was promoted to head the agency's new community and consumer law division.

While his first job with the agency might have meant a two-year tenure, his new post suggests he'll be around for a while. He's begun staffing and expects to have four people at work in the division by fall.

After graduating magna cum laude from Harvard University Law School, where he was first in his class, he got two dream clerkships: one with Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, then of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and the second with Justice John P. Stevens of the Supreme Court.

His next job, counsel to the Senate Banking Committee, helped him develop a specialty in consumer compliance and community development issues.

The OCC snapped up Mr. Roberts in November as special counsel to the comptroller. He was the first person hired for a program designed like a fellowship to bring smart new lawyers into the agency. A main goal of the program is to reduce the banking industry's regulatory burden.

At the OCC, Mr. Roberts is known as a principal author of the agency's controversial proposal to overhaul the Community Reinvestment Act. CRA still takes most of his time, Mr. Roberts said.

Another big project was the fairlending policy statement put out by all the banking agencies.

Mr. Roberts said his two greatest accomplishments have been the proposal, "despite all the reaction," and getting all the agencies to agree on it.

Unlike Stephen Cross, deputy comptroller for compliance, Mr. Roberts has not been a regular on the lecture circuit. But that may change with his new job.

Mr. Roberts said he expects to become more of a spokesman for the OCC, meeting with people outside the agency. But he said he doesn't want to give up crafting policy, what he calls the "down and dirty, substantive stuff."

"It's hard to get that balance just right," he said.

Away from work, Mr. Roberts spends time with his wife, Emily, and infant daughter, Molly. He also reads murder mysteries and humor books.

Matthew Roberts

Director, community and consumer law division

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

250 E St. S W

Washington, D.C. 20219


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