After accruing more than four decades of excellence within the fields of diplomacy, government counsel and leadership in financial services, Ken A. Guenther retired in 2004 as the president and chief executive officer of Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) in Washington, D.C., after serving the association for 24 years beginning in 1980. Starting out at the ICBA as an associate director, a role he held for two years, he went on to become the executive director in 1982 and executive vice president and director in 1985 prior to attaining his most recent roles. Post-retirement, Mr. Guenther served as a consultant between 2004 and 2012.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Guenther excelled with the Federal Reserve as assistant to the board of governors, The White House as acting deputy special trade representative and head of office, and the Inter-American Development Bank as alternative U.S. executive director. Likewise, he served as special assistant to Senator Jacob Javits of the U.S. Senate, was a Foreign Service officer of the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., and Santiago, Chile, and was an international economist and economist for the U.S. Department of Commerce beginning in 1960.
Mr. Guenther holds a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from the University of Rochester, and subsequently completed postgraduate coursework at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, the Rangoon-Hopkins Center for Southeast Asian Studies and Yale University. Shortly thereafter, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve, where he served from 1961 to 1966. Civically involved throughout his career as well, he has maintained membership with the Homeownership Alliance, the Small Business Administration, the Bush-Cheney Transition Advisory Committee with the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Clark Consulting, Inc.
Among the notable highlights of his career, Mr. Guenther participated in the passage of several legislations, including the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980, the Trade Act of 1973, and legislation establishing the Overseas Private Investment Corporation in 1970. Contributing greatly to the Federal Reserve as well, he helped to deregulate interest rates and provided the Reserve with much-needed monetary tools, as well as governance changes in the Federal Reserve Reform Legislation of 1977, all whilst establishing the dual mandate goals of promoting maximum employment and price stability. Alongside these works, he has worked with the United States trade policy to minority immigration from the former Soviet Union.
In light of his exceptional undertakings, Mr. Guenther received a Special Lifetime Achievement Award from the Federal Reserve in 1977, an Electronic Funds Transfer Achievement Award from the U.S. Department of the Treasury in 1995, and an American Banker Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. Most recently, he received the Hero Award from the Homeownership Alliance.