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Photo of H. Robert Heller

H. Robert Heller

  • Governor, Board of Governors, 1986–1989

H. Robert Heller served on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from August 19, 1986, until July 31, 1989.

Heller was born in Cologne, Germany. He received a bachelor’s degree from Parsons College in 1961 and a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota from 1962. Heller went on to earn his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley in 1965.

From 1965 to 1971, Heller taught economics at UCLA. He accepted a professorship at the University of Hawaii and continued to teach economics for two more years. In 1974, Heller became chief of the financial studies division at the International Monetary Fund. In 1978, he became senior vice president and director of international economic research at Bank of America in San Francisco.

In the fall of 1986, President Ronald Reagan nominated Heller to the Board of Governors.  Heller served as chairman of the Committee on Bank Supervision and Regulation, was a member of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, the National Advisory Council on International Monetary and Financial Policies, and represented the Board at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. During his time at the Board, Heller delivered several noteworthy speeches, including "The Debt Crisis and the Future of International Bank Lending," "The World Debt Crisis after Five Years: Where do We Stand? Where do We Go?" and "Imbalances and Asymmetries in the World Economy."

After leaving the Board of Governors, Heller returned to the private sector, joining Visa. In 1991, Heller became president and chief executive officer of Visa U.S.A. and served in the role for two years. From 1994 - 2001, he served as the executive vice president of Fair Isaac Corporation.

Heller is active in many business and civic organizations. He has served on the boards of VISA, the Fair Isaac Corporation and BMW of North America. He has also been Chairman of Marin General Hospital. He currently is a member of the boards of Bank of Marin, Bank of Marin Bancorp and Sonic Automotive, Inc. as well as several private corporations. He is a Staff Commodore of the San Francisco Yacht Club.

Heller is the author of seven books and over one-hundred articles on economics, finance, and business.

Written by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. See disclaimer.