Dr. Heath P. Tarbert was sworn in as Assistant Secretary for International Markets on October 10, 2017. As Assistant Secretary, Dr. Tarbert advances U.S. interests in multilateral fora on financial stability and regulatory issues, while promoting growth, negotiating trade agreements, and advocating for standards that level the playing field for U.S. firms. Dr. Tarbert attends Plenary meetings of the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and serves on FSB’s Standing Committee on Assessment of Vulnerabilities. He is also Co-Chair of the U.S.-EU Financial Regulatory Working Group and U.S.-UK Economic Dialogue, both of which focus on enhancing financial regulatory cooperation with key counterparts and advancing U.S. economic interests. Dr. Tarbert has led U.S. delegations at the G-20 Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ Deputies track and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Financial Ministerial. Additionally, Dr. Tarbert works to facilitate investments in energy and infrastructure abroad, oversees technical assistance programs that promote private sector-led growth in over 40 partner countries, and is a member of the Domestic Finance Policy Council.
Dr. Tarbert also serves as policy chair of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which seeks to promote U.S. investments while protecting national security. In this role, Dr. Tarbert worked closely with Congress and other key stakeholders to draft and enact the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA), which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in August 2018. Until a new Assistant Secretary for Investment Security—a position created by FIRRMA—is confirmed, Dr. Tarbert will perform both roles simultaneously.
While serving as Assistant Secretary, Dr. Tarbert concurrently served as acting U.S. Executive Director on the Board of the World Bank Group from 2017-2018 where he worked to negotiate a capital package that resulted in transformational institutional reforms, including new financial discipline mechanisms and policies shifting a higher proportion of funding to poorer countries. Additionally, Dr. Tarbert oversaw the consideration of development loans across a range of sectors, including agriculture, education, health, and infrastructure.
Prior to becoming Assistant Secretary, Dr. Tarbert was most recently a partner at the international law firm of Allen & Overy LLP, where he was a leader in its global financial regulatory practice. He previously served in all three branches of the U.S. Government, including as Special Counsel to the Senate Banking Committee, as Associate Counsel to President George W. Bush, and as a law clerk to Chief Judge Douglas Ginsburg of the U.S. Court of Appeals of the D.C. Circuit and then to Justice Clarence Thomas of the U.S. Supreme Court.
In addition to his government service, Dr. Tarbert has been the Chairman of the American Bar Association Subcommittee on Systemically Important Financial Institutions, Legal Adviser to the Systemic Risk Council, Senior Fellow at the Harvard Law School Program on International Financial Systems, Deputy Director of the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation, and a member of The Bretton Woods Committee. Dr. Tarbert has also served on the Board of Advisors for the Review of Securities and Commodities Regulation. Dr. Tarbert is an elected member of the American Law Institute and a Life Member of the National Eagle Scout Association. He is also a Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst charterholder.Dr. Tarbert was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. He earned his BS from Mount St. Mary’s University, his JD and SJD from the University of Pennsylvania, and his DPhil from Oxford University where he was a Thouron Scholar.