012720 NCUA repartee 


NCUA Board Member J. Mark McWatters has served on the NCUA Board since 2014.
Mr. McWatters previously served as the tenth NCUA Board Chairman from June 23, 2017 to April 8, 2019, and as Acting Chairman from January 23 to June 23, 2017. He was nominated to the NCUA Board by former President Barack Obama on January 7, 2014. Following Senate confirmation, he took the oath of office as an NCUA Board Member on August 26, 2014.

The NCUA undertook a number of initiatives during his tenure as Chairman, the most significant being the closure of the Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund prior to its scheduled expiration in 2021 and the transfer of its assets to the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. This action resulted in nearly $900 million in Share Insurance Fund dividends to eligible federally insured credit unions.

As NCUA Board Chairman, Mr. McWatters led efforts to provide greater transparency and accountability to credit union members during voluntary mergers, improve the appeals process for agency supervisory and program decisions, and implement the greater use of offsite examination and supervision. He also led the agency’s first large-scale restructuring initiative in more than a decade to meet the future demands of the credit union system and financial services landscape.

Mr. McWatters has advocated for additional legislative and regulatory changes that would expand how credit unions define their fields of membership. This includes allowing credit unions to serve communities that exist online to better reflect today’s society and to add underserved areas to their fields of membership to expand access to affordable financial services for the unserved and underserved, and those of modest means.

Mr. McWatters is licensed to practice law in Texas and New York, and as a Certified Public Accountant in Texas. He earned a J.D. degree from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law and LL.M. degrees from Columbia University School of Law and New York University School of Law. 


Prior to joining the NCUA Board, Mr. Harper served as director of the agency’s Office of Public and Congressional Affairs and chief policy advisor to former Chairman Debbie Matz and Rick Metsger. He was nominated to serve on the NCUA Board on February 6, 2019. The U.S. Senate confirmed him on March 14, 2019, and he was sworn in as a member of the NCUA Board on April 8, 2019.  He is the first member of the NCUA staff to become an NCUA Board Member.

Mr. Harper previously worked for the U.S. House of Representatives as staff director for the Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government-Sponsored Enterprises and as legislative director and senior legislative assistant to former Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pennsylvania). In these roles, he contributed to every major financial services law from the enactment of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act in 1999 through the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010.

During the Great Recession, Mr. Harper coordinated the first congressional hearing to explore the creation of a Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund. He also spearheaded staff efforts in the U.S. House to secure enactment of a law to lower the costs of managing both the Corporate Stabilization Fund and the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.

Mr. Harper led staff negotiations over several sections of the Dodd-Frank Act, including the Kanjorski amendment to empower regulators to preemptively rein in and break up “too-big-to-fail” institutions and proposals to enhance the powers of the Securities and Exchange Commission.  He also developed the legislative framework for the bill that created the Federal Insurance Office to monitor domestic and international insurance issues.

Mr. Harper holds an undergraduate degree in business analysis from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and a graduate degree in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.