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Yolanda Wheat, after practicing law for ten years, was appointed to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board in April 1996 by President Bill Clinton. Wheat served as NCUA chairwoman for a short term in early 2001. The three-person NCUA Board was responsible for overseeing more than 10,000 federally insured credit unions with assets totaling over $400 billion. During her tenure on the NCUA Board, Wheat was a champion for the interests of consumers, focusing on such issues as access to financial services, privacy, and predatory lending practices. She has been instrumental in developing incentives that help credit unions expand their membership base so that as many consumers as possible have access to credit union services. Wheat worked to empower credit unions to provide more services in the financial marketplace in order to remain competitive and thrive in the 21st century.

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