The US Faster Payments Council (FPC) today announced that payments industry expert Kimberly Ford is joining the organization as its first executive director.
Most recently with First Data Corporation, Ford brings extensive industry knowledge to this position. Her first day will be Monday, June 24.
“Having the right person at the helm of the FPC is critical to the organization’s success. The search committee reviewed more than 400 applicants, conducted numerous phone screenings and in-person interviews, and collectively chose Kim for the position,” remarked FPC Board Chairperson Michael Bilski, Chairman and CEO, North American Banking Company. “With Kim, we have a visionary leader who will ensure we are able to achieve our goals as an organization.”
Ford has substantial experience in the payments industry and has been actively engaged in faster payments efforts. Over her nearly 15-year tenure with First Data, most recently as senior vice president and head of global government affairs, Ford developed deep subject matter expertise on a broad range of payments issues and has routinely served as a featured speaker at client and industry conferences.
She has held a number of industry leadership positions, including serving as Chair, Legislative & Regulatory Council, Electronic Funds Transfer Association; Co-Chair, Government Relations Council, Electronic Transaction Association; Co-Founder, the Secure Payments Partnership; Past Chair, Board of Directors, National Card Coalition; Board Member, Innovative Payments Association; and Treasurer, First Data PAC. Prior to her time at First Data, Ford served as a regional director for U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fl.) She holds a B.S. in Journalism-Public Relations from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fl.
“The FPC’s success will depend on highly engaged members, so it is incumbent on the executive director to create the best workplace possible,” said Ford. “I will work to foster an environment where all members feel that they are heard and regarded as equals. We will be committed to open and frequent communication, and constantly reinforcing the shared goal of faster payments in the U.S. I am thrilled to be working with the FPC membership and leadership to accomplish its mission.”
Ford has a clear vision for the FPC and its role in facilitating faster payments by fostering industry dialogue and collaboration.
In terms of strategic areas of focus, Ford plans to first target organizational needs by ensuring consistency during the transition and establishing a longer-term plan to involve the right parties in the right positions—both staff and volunteer. From there, Ford plans to turn focus to more external efforts, including increasing industry education opportunities, expanding membership across all segments, supporting effective and engaged work groups, and identifying opportunities for the FPC to offer industry guidance and best practices.
Since its launch in November 2018, the FPC has been functioning as a volunteer-driven organization, with support from broad industry constituents. Ford’s hire formalizes staffing, and additional organizational developments will evolve over the coming months.
“I want to thank the countless industry leaders who stepped forward to help launch the FPC,” remarked Bilski. “I’d like to extend a special thank you to Kevin Christensen for assuming the role of acting executive director. Without Kevin’s guidance and dedication, we would not be where we are today. We are grateful for the firm foundation that’s been set for Kim and look forward to further success under her leadership.”