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Ahead of the Curve

During an Oct. 24 visit to campus, Board of Trustees member Chuck Silverman '88 spoke with students about high-tech developments in the finance industry. Photo by Joe O'Neill.

During an Oct. 24 visit to campus, Board of Trustees member Chuck Silverman '88 spoke with students about high-tech developments in the finance industry. Photo by Joe O'Neill.

Meet New Board Member Chuck Silverman ’88 

As an undergrad, Chuck Silverman ’88 cut a new path. Now, after a long career traveling the globe and managing financial institutions and fintech businesses for a global corporation, he’s giving back to his alma mater in several ways.

Silverman’s story begins with a Time magazine article he discovered that laid out a case for the financial possibilities of catering to the Chinese market. “I wasn’t a big languages student,” says Silverman, who’d unenthusiastically taken Spanish in high school, “but I saw an opportunity.”

Silverman signed up for Chinese-language classes and soon wanted to dive deeper into that culture. The problem was Dickinson’s East Asian studies department didn’t yet exist. So, working with his advisor, Charles A. Dana Professor of Political Science David Strand, he designed his own major—and thus earned the distinction of being the first graduate of Dickinson’s now-thriving East Asian studies department. “That experience shaped my career,” he says.

After graduation, Silverman accepted a job at a Philadelphia National Bank, now Wells Fargo, where he’s risen up the ranks, often finding thoughtful and culturally attuned approaches to global-finance challenges. Over the years, he’s lived and worked in Asia and served on the Federal Reserve’s Payments Risk Committee and as chairman of the Banker’s Association for Finance and Trade. Among his current duties as executive vice president at Wells Fargo is a new challenge: shifting from a customer-facing leadership role to heading up a major risk management area. At each step, he’s mindful to remain ahead of the curve as new technologies and risk trends emerge.

Silverman gives back to his alma mater as a Mermaid Society member and contributor to career exploration events. He also has supported hiring of Dickinsonians for summer and permanent positions. Last summer, he was delighted to take part in a Presidential Fellows interview with Joanne Adebayo ’21, an international business & management major, and in the fall, Silverman and wife Andrea established the Silverman Family Scholarship

As of this year, Silverman is also a Board of Trustees member. While visiting campus for his first board meeting, he recently made time for two discussions with students interested in technology and finance.

“Timing is everything,” he told the students, “and competition is great, so it’s really important to find something, anything, that can differentiate you from the crowd.”

TAKE THE NEXT STEPS

Published November 4, 2019