Professor Sarah Hammer is Executive Director at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, leading financial technology initiatives as well as Wharton Cypher Accelerator, which supports leading global businesses that are leveraging technology. Hammer is also Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Affiliated Scholar at the Penn Program on Regulation.
Previously, Hammer was Managing Director of the Center for Innovation in Finance and Senior Director of the Alternative Investments Program at Wharton. Hammer also led the launch of the University of Pennsylvania’s first digital asset, unique 3D intellectual property that memorializes the invention of the mRNA technology which enabled the COVID-19 vaccines.
Hammer is also a board member of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) at the United Nations. The ITU is the UN specialized agency responsible for information and communication technology. She is also an advisor at the World Economic Forum, the Dubai International Finance Centre, and the Digital Dollar Project for Central Bank Digital Currency.
Previously, Hammer was Acting Secretary of the Department of Banking and Securities for Pennsylvania, having led the Department through the banking crisis of March 2023. The Department regulates and supervises ~290,000 bank and non-bank financial entities, totaling $3.5 trillion in AUM.
Hammer was also previously Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions and Director of the Office of Financial Institutions Policy at the US Department of the Treasury. In this role, she led the Department’s policy responsibilities involving financial institutions, as well as oversaw the Federal Insurance Office and the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Compliance Policy (cybersecurity).
While at U.S. Treasury, Hammer also led the cross-functional team conducting a full review and report on the financial regulatory framework. Hammer also served on the board of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) and assisted the U.S. Treasury Secretary in fulfilling responsibilities on the board of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).
Hammer has held various leadership positions throughout financial services in general management, portfolio management, trading, marketing, research, and analytics at the Vanguard Group, PIMCO, JP Morgan Chase, BlackRock, and Tudor Investments.
Hammer earned a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, an M.B.A. from the Wharton School, and a Master of Studies from Oxford University.