Speakers Bureau

On a limited basis, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago provides speakers on topics including the purposes and functions of the Federal Reserve System, banking issues, and  regional and national economic conditions. Bank employees can speak to non-profit professional, business and civic groups of 40 or more.  Some examples include civic or trade associations.

How Do I Schedule a Speaker?

Speaking engagements may be requested by completing the Speakers Bureau Request form.

How Much Will It Cost?

This is a free service. However, Chicago Fed speakers are provided only for events within the Seventh Federal Reserve District, which includes Iowa and most of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. If you are outside the Seventh District, please see the link at right to determine which other Federal Reserve District might be able to assist you.

Who Is Available to Speak?

The Chicago Fed Speakers Bureau evaluates speaker requests according to the forum, subject matter, and the availability of our speakers. Please note that there is limited availability of our speakers  and they are not available during Federal Reserve blackout periods, which begin the Tuesday preceding a Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, until midnight the Thursday following a meeting.  Following are the FOMC blackout periods in 2015 and 2016:

2015 2016
January 20-29 January 19-28
March 10-19 March 8-17
April 21-30 April 19-28
June 9-18 June 7-16
July 21-30 July 19-28
September 8-17 September 13-22
October 20-29 October 25-November 3
December 8-17 December 6-15


Chicago Fed policy prohibits Bank officers and employees from accepting gifts, honoraria or compensation. We kindly ask that you do not purchase or present any gift or memento that our speakers would be required to decline or return.

Subject Matter Experts

William Testa

Midwest Economy

William Testa
Vice President and Director of Regional Research
Bill is an expert on specific midwestern economic issues, including economic development programs, regional economic growth trends and state–local public finance initiatives.
William Strauss


William Strauss
Senior Economist and Economic Advisor
Bill analyzes the performance of the manufacturing sector, including the steel and auto industries, as well as the Midwest and national economy. He is the spokesperson for the monthly release of the Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index (CFMMI).
David Oppedahl


David Oppedahl
Business Economist
David follows the agricultural sector and monitors agribusiness conditions. Every three months, he conducts a survey of agricutural land values and credit conditions in Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana and Iowa and reports the results in the Chicago Fed's quarterly AgLetter.
Rick Mattoon

Energy, Higher Education and State and Local Public Finance

Rick Mattoon
Senior Economist and Economic Advisor
Rick is an expert on a wide variety of infrastructure issues that face the Midwest regional economy.
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Ellen Rissman

Labor Markets

Ellen Rissman
Economist and Senior Policy Specialist
Ellen analyzes labor economics such as self-employment and entrepreneurship, and cyclical movements in employment.
Maude Toussaint-Comeau

Alternative Financial Services

Maude Toussaint-Comeau
Senior Business Economist
Maude analyzes the use of formal and informal financial markets by minority groups and the use of alternative financial services, such as check-cashing outlets and payday loan companies. She has also conducted a line of research on immigrant utilization of financial services; labor market adjustment of immigrants; immigrant impact on natives; homeownership attainment of immigrants; and immigrant self-employment and business ethnic networks.
Jeremiah P. Boyle

Community Reinvestment

Jeremiah P. Boyle
Community Affairs Director
Jere is a community affairs director in the community development and policy studies division. His areas of expertise include community reinvestment, consumer protection, concentrated poverty and small business and minority business development
Thomas Klier

Auto Industry

Thomas Klier
Senior Economist
Thomas analyzes the structure and geography of the automobile industry, with special emphasis on the auto supplier sector. He also studies other regional economic development issues such as what motivates location decisions of headquarters.