M-RCBG Senior Fellow-Led Study Group: Dennis Lockhart

Session One: October 10, 4:00-5:30, M-RCBG Conference Room (B-503)

The United States faces an infrastructure investment gap in the coming years while experiencing ongoing deterioration of in-place infrastructure. Infrastructure is a foundational asset of a well-functioning, productive economy. Unaddressed infrastructure needs will undermine overall economic performance over time.

This study group will start by establishing a baseline of reliable data, information, and estimates of the scale, scope and nature of the problem. Following from this baseline, the leader will offer a situation report that is as current as possible encompassing the state of existing federal, state, and local infrastructure policy, programs, project pipelines and legislative initiatives as well as private sector advocacy and investment activity. Policy makers will have to confront trade-offs in shaping a national infrastructure investment initiative. These include…

  • Spending on deferred maintenance vs. new construction
  • Public sector investment/ownership vs. public-private partnerships
  • Public finance vs. private capital
  • Federal government leadership vs. state and local
  • Rural projects vs. spending on cities/population centers
  • The spending mix among infrastructure categories, e.g. transportation, water management, waste management, and ‘social infrastructure’—school and public facilities, parks.

Topics to be explored in this study group include use of public-private partnerships (P3’s) for risk sharing and financing projects, the idea of a Federal infrastructure bank or fund, ideas for deepening and enhancing infrastructure capital markets, and potential technology applications for operation and maintenance, revenue capture, and usage management.

Dennis Lockhart headshotDennis Lockhart’s career includes time in the private sector, academia, and government.  He recently stepped down from the position of president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. In this role, Lockhart was responsible for all the Bank’s activities including monetary policy, bank supervision and regulation, and payment services. In addition, he served on the Federal Reserve’s chief monetary policy body, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). Within the Federal Reserve System, he chaired the Conference of Presidents for his final two years and earlier chaired the Information Technology Oversight Committee. Before becoming a central banker, Lockhart was a member of the faculty of Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service where he chaired the masters program’s concentrations in global commerce and finance and international business–government relations.  He taught courses focused on global business strategyinternational finance and investmentproject finance, and business-government relations. He also was an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. Simultaneously, he was chairman of the Small Enterprise Assistance Funds, a sponsor of emerging markets venture capital/private equity funds. Earlier he was managing partner of a boutique private investment firm with activity in Africa and Latin America and president of Heller International Group, a financial firm with activities in commercial finance and merchant banking in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.  In 2000, he chaired the Advisory Committee of the U.S. Export-Import Bank.  At the start of his career, Lockhart held various positions, both international and domestic, with Citicorp/Citibank (now Citigroup). He worked in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Greece, Iran, Latin America and the southeast United States.  He was Citicorp’s senior corporate officer and head of corporate banking for the southeast domiciled in Atlanta. Lockhart was born and grew up in California. He was educated at Stanford University and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. He also attended the Senior Executive Program at the Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. As a Senior Fellow, his research is entitled Renewing America’s Infrastructure: a comprehensive examination of options and implications. His faculty sponsor is Tony Gomez-Ibanez, Derek C. Bok Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. Email: dennis_lockhart@hks.harvard.edu