Richard A. Debs


Chair, International Council

Advisory Director, Morgan Stanley

Richard A. Debs, an Advisory Director of Morgan Stanley, joined the firm in 1976 as the Founding President of Morgan Stanley International to develop the investment bank's international business, now a major part of its global activities. More recently, he was a member of the Group of Eight -- former senior managers of Morgan Stanley who worked to bring about corporate governance improvements in the firm. Before joining Morgan Stanley, he was the Chief Operating Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where he also served as an Alternate Member of the Federal Open Market Committee. He was the Fed’s principal contact with the OPEC countries with regard to petrodollar issues in the 1970s. During his transition from the Fed to Morgan Stanley, at the request of David Rockefeller, he served as a pro-bono financial advisor to President Sadat of Egypt.

During his 16 years at the Federal Reserve, he served as a member of the FOMC Committee on Foreign Currency and the Committee on International Banking. He was also Chairman of the Federal Reserve - Treasury Committee on Fiscal Agency Operations, which under his direction created the first book-entry system for securities in 1970. He also served as an Advisor on the United States delegations to the International Monetary Fund and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development Annual Meetings.

He graduated summa cum laude from Colgate University and holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Princeton, where he was a Ford Foundation Fellow. A member of the New York Bar, he is a graduate of the Harvard Law School, as well as the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Egypt, where he subsequently held a joint Harvard-Princeton research fellowship on Islamic law. He later authored a book on Islamic law and founded an Islamic law library collection at Harvard.

Mr. Debs is married to Dr. Barbara Knowles Debs, former President of Manhattanville College and of The New York Historical Society.