Saule Omarova biography: 13 things about Joe Biden’s comptroller of the currency nominee


Saule Tarikhovna Omarova (Сәуле Тарихқызы Омарова) is a Kazakh-American academic, attorney and public policy advisor. She was born in the West Kazakhstan Region of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic in the Soviet Union.

Omarova went to high school in a small, tiny Kazakh provincial town on the outskirts of the Soviet Empire. She was raised by her mother and grandmother, according to her childhood friend Vlasta Kaptelova.

In June 1989, Omarova graduated with honors from Moscow State University in Moscow, Soviet Union on the Lenin Personal Academic Scholarship with a diploma in philosophy. Her thesis from the university is titled “Karl Marx’s Economic Analysis and the Theory of Revolution in The Capital.”

From September 1990 to May 1991, Omarova was a lecturer at the Moscow Energy Institute in Moscow, Soviet Union and a teaching assistant at the Department of Philosophy of Moscow State University in Moscow. Here are 13 more things about her:


  1. In December 1991, the Soviet Union fell apart while she was attending the University of Wisconsin at Madison in Madison, Wisconsin, United States as an exchange student from Moscow State University. She decided to stay in the U.S.
  2. She was a recipient of The Charles D. Ellis Moscow State University Scholarship from 1992 to 1994 and The MacArthur Foundation Scholarship in International Peace and Cooperation from 1994 to 1997.
  3. On June 2, 1995, she was arrested in Madison and charged with a misdemeanor count of retail theft. In January 1996, she had a deferred prosecution for the charge, which was dropped through Wisconsin’s first offender program.
  4. From September 1995 to May 1996, she was a visiting MacArthur scholar at the Center for International Security and Arms Control of Stanford University in Stanford, California, USA.
  5. From January 1998 to July 1998, she was a visiting research fellow at the Central Asia Institute of Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C., USA.
  6. From May 1999 to August 1999, she was a summer associate at Baker and McKenzie, Attorneys at Law in Chicago, Illinois, USA. From January 2000 to April 2000, she worked there as a part-time law clerk.
  7. In August 1999, she graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison with a PhD in political science. The title of her thesis from the university is “The Political Economy of Oil in Post-Soviet Kazakhstan.”
  8. In May 2001, she graduated cum laude from the Northwest University School of Law in Chicago where she earned her Juris Doctor.
  9. From October 2001 to July 2006, she was an associate at David Polk and Wardwell‘s Financial Institutions Group in New York City, New York, USA.
  10. From July 2006 to July 2007, she worked for the U.S. Department of the Treasury in Washington, D.C. as a special advisor for regulatory policy to the under secretary of domestic finance.
  11. From July 2007 to June 2013, he was an assistant professor at the School of Law of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA. From July 2013 to July 2014, she worked there as a George R. Ward Associate Professor of Law.
  12. In July 2014, she joined Cornell University Law School in Ithaca, New York as a professor.
  13. In September 2021, she was named as a nominee to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) under 46th U.S. president Joe Biden.

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