Contact: Leah Szarek, Chief External Relations Officer
MSRB WELCOMES HARVARD UNIVERSITY’S LOURDES GERMÁN AS NEW VISITING SCHOLAR
Washington, D.C. – The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) today announced that Lourdes Germán of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design will serve as the MSRB’s next visiting scholar. The MSRB’s Visiting Scholar Program provides academics with an opportunity to conduct research with support from MSRB staff in order to generate insights that may advance the understanding of market structure and efficiency. Germán plans to leverage MSRB data to research Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) trends in public finance.
“The MSRB is thrilled to welcome Lourdes, who is such a distinguished public finance thought leader, as our next visiting scholar,” said MSRB CEO Mark Kim. “The MSRB’s Visiting Scholar Program provides a valuable opportunity for academics and regulators to work together to contribute to knowledge and understanding of emerging trends in public finance.”
The MSRB collects and disseminates municipal market trade data and disclosure documents through its free Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website. To support external research, the MSRB provides data sets to universities and other research institutions. The Visiting Scholar Program was first established in 2018 to provide selected academics with necessary access and support to conduct in-depth analyses on municipal market data. Germán, who also serves as Executive Director of the Public Finance Initiative, is the second academic to participate in the Visiting Scholar Program.
“I am looking forward to leveraging the MSRB’s data and in-house experts to advance my research into the issuance of ESG-designated municipal securities as well as the impact of ESG labels on secondary market pricing,” Germán said.
The MSRB continues to focus on optimizing the accessibility and utility of market data for all market participants, most recently with the launch of its EMMA Labs innovation sandbox, which gives the public the opportunity to collaborate with the MSRB to test and refine cloud-based data analytic tools and capabilities.
“I am very excited about the potential for the prototypes now being tested in EMMA Labs to open up new avenues for research inquiry,” Germán said. “With the advanced search prototype, the MSRB has unlocked the rich data within the PDF disclosures submitted by state and local governments to EMMA. Using a simple keyword search, I can explore how municipalities are tapping into the municipal bond market to raise money for projects that have specified ESG outcomes.”
Germán received her bachelor's degree from Boston College and her juris doctor from the Boston University School of Law. She began her career as a public finance attorney at the law firm Palmer & Dodge LLP (now Locke Lord LLP) and then led investment banking efforts in the Northeast and New York Tri-State region as Vice President of Municipal Finance at Fidelity Investments. She currently teaches at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and serves as Executive Director of the Public Finance Initiative, a nonprofit fiscally sponsored project of Third Sector New England that specializes in developing public finance programs and research that prioritizes environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria to achieve long-term value creation that benefits society.
The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) protects and strengthens the municipal bond market, enabling access to capital, economic growth, and societal progress in tens of thousands of communities across the country. The MSRB fulfills this mission by creating trust in our market through informed regulation of dealers and municipal advisors that protects investors, issuers and the public interest; building technology systems that power our market and provide transparency for issuers, institutions, and the investing public; and serving as the steward of market data that empowers better decisions and fuels innovation for the future. The MSRB is a self-regulatory organization governed by a board of directors that has a majority of public members, in addition to representatives of regulated entities. The MSRB is overseen by the Securities and Exchange Commission and Congress.