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Leadership Spotlight: Tyler Robinson of the Export-Import Bank

Shining a spotlight on emerging federal leaders.

Tyler Robinson, the Director of Young Government Leader's Institute for Public Policy, spends his days as a financial modeling specialist for the Export-Import Bank. This lesser-known agency was founded in 1934 and became an independent agency in 1945.  Its mission is to provide loan guarantees, direct loans and insurance for companies or governments that wish to buy exports from the United States. 

Robinson’s job is to predict how much business the Export-Import Bank expects to receive in future months and years.  He participates in portfolio reporting and forecasting in order to provide numbers for Congress and other stakeholders.  In order to determine future transaction performance, Robinson runs these transactions through cash flow models and pays special attention on how to mitigate risk.  He does this by setting aside a proper amount of reserves for each transaction and by forecasting expected loss rates.  These predictions are based on past history, macroeconomic indicators and other variables.

The bank has a large focus on helping American small businesses succeed.  Roughly 85 percent of transactions which occur at the bank are through a small business, amounting to almost 20 percent of the dollar volume for total transactions which occur. 

A Presidential Management Fellow, Robinson worked at Health and Human Services (HHS) before transferring to the Export-Import Bank.  He said that the two agencies differ in culture.  Many of the employees at the bank came from the private sector due to the skills needed in economics and finance, and accordingly, the bank has a much more corporate feel to it. 

Another difference Robinson noted was the size of the Export-Import Bank.  With roughly 400 employees, there is the opportunity to participate in high-level discussions and it would even be possible to meet and get to know all of those employed by the bank.  With over 65,000 employees, this level of interaction would not be possible at HHS.  He says that these experiences are a good complement to his YGL board position because at YGL he works with employees throughout federal government, and is working to widen his perspective and view of the bigger picture of public service.

With a Bachelor’s degree in economics with a minor in math and a Master’s degree in Business Administration, Robinson seems to have found an agency that is a perfect fit for his skills and education.  He recommends that all those who are interested in public service look at multiple government agencies, not just the ones which are well-known.  He urges prospective government employees to consider, “a wide variety of jobs” and to “take the time to match your background and skills, and to really explore all types of careers available.” 

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