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Elizabeth Warren

An Agency Builder, but Not Yet Its Leader
Published: July 4, 2011

WASHINGTON — It is conventional wisdom in this town that the first director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will be anyone but Elizabeth Warren.

In nine months overseeing the bureau’s start-up, Elizabeth Warren has made inroads with some of her critics.

She claims not to care. Ms. Warren, who pushed for the creation of the bureau, has waged a tireless campaign on its behalf. In doing so, she may have helped her own prospects for getting the job.

In nine months overseeing the bureau’s start-up, she has talked with community bankers in every state, conferred with about 70 members of Congress, conducted dozens of media interviews and met with more than 1,000 banking, business and consumer representatives. Preparing for the agency’s July 21 opening, she supervised the hiring of more than 300 people.

To nervous lenders, her message has been as simple and unadorned as her personal style: a new regulator to protect consumers from abusive financial products does not have to punish banks to do its job.

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