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H. Robert Heller (born Heinz Robert Heller) was born [1] 1940 in Cologne, Germany.[2] He has served as a Governor of the Federal Reserve System and as President of VISA U.S.A. Inc.


After an early education in Cologne, he emigrated 1960 to the states and obtained his B.A. 1961 [3] and M.A. in economics from the University of Minnesota (1962) and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley (1965).[4]


Heller served as Assistant Professor of Economics (1965–68) and Associate Professor of Economics (1968–71) at UCLA. In 1971-1974 he was Professor of Economics at the University of Hawaii and served as Chairman of the Department in 1973-74. From 1974 to 1978 he was Chief of the Financial Studies Division of the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C., where he was in charge of the IMF's monetary and financial research program. In 1978 he joined Bank of America in San Francisco as Senior Vice President and Director of International Economic Research . At Bank of America he was a member of the Management Advisory Council, the International Money Policy Committee, the Trust and Investment Policy Committee, the International Banking Council and the Policy Research Council. He also was Chairman of both the Foreign Exchange Outlook Committee and the Country Risk Rating Committee.[5]

President Reagan nominated Heller in 1986 as a Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and he was confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate [6]

At the Federal Reserve he served as the Administrative Governor and the Chairman of the Committee on Bank Supervision and Regulation. He was a member of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council and a Federal Reserve delegate to the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development in Paris.[4] As the Administrative Governor he was responsible for the creation of the official flag of the Federal Reserve, which he designed with the help of his daughter Kimberly Allison.

At the Federal Reserve he championed giving investment banking powers to commercial banks, allowing U.S. banks to accept foreign currency deposits and the elimination of interstate banking barriers.[7] He joined VISA International in 1989 as Executive Vice President in charge of global finance, audit and risk management. In 1991 he was appointed President and CEO of VISA U.S.A.. Heller was honored by the American Banker as a "Leader of the Bankcard Business" [8]

Other activitiesEdit

Heller currently serves on the boards of Bank of Marin, Sonic Automotive Inc. and several private corporations. He is a past chairman of Marin General Hospital and a Staff Commodore of the San Francisco Yacht Club.[4]


International Trade, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, 1968, Library of Congress Card No. 68-17211, 2nd ed. 1973 ISBN 0-13-473918-3 (Japanese ed. 1969 and 1973, Spanish ed. 1970 and 1983, German ed. 1975, 1992 and 1997, Portuguese ed. 1978, Malay ed. 1982) ; The Economic System, The Macmillan Co., 1972, Library of Congress Card No. 72-163232 (Portuguese ed. 1977) ; International Monetary Economics, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, 1974 ISBN 0-13-473140-9 (Japanese ed. 1974, Malay ed. 1982) ; Japanese Investments in the United States (with Emily E. Heller), Praeger Publishers, New York, N.Y. 1974, ISBN 0-275-09670-X; The Unlikely Governor, Maybridge Press, 2015, ISBN 978-0-9964390-2-2


  1. ^ In earlier edits on 8. January, but without sources
  2. ^ Interwiev Koelner Stadtanzeiger 23. June 2016, page 25
  3. ^ Interview 2016
  4. ^ a b c "H. Robert Heller". Federal Reserve History.
  5. ^ Biographical Dictionary of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, edited by Bernard S. Katz, Greenwood Press, New York, 1992, ISBN 0-313-26658-1, p. 130
  6. ^ Nominations of H. Robert Heller and Michael L. Mussa, Hearing before the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs United States Senate, 99th Congress, Second Session, August 5, 1986
  7. ^ "A RARE GLIMPSE INSIDE THE FED". Fortune. September 11, 1989.
  8. ^ "Leaders of the Bank Card Business", An American Banker Special Report, September 21, 1993.