Barbara Roper is director of investor protection for the Consumer Federation of America, where she has been employed since 1986. CFA is an alliance of approximately 300 pro-consumer organizations, which in turn represent more than 50 million individual consumers.
A leading consumer spokesperson on investor protection issues, Roper has conducted studies of abuses in the financial planning industry, state oversight of investment advisers, state and federal financial planning regulation, financial planning software, financial education needs of low income older persons, the need for audit reform in the wake of the Enron scandal, the need for mutual fund reform in the wake of trading and sales abuse scandals, the information preferences of mutual fund shareholders, systemic risk regulation, and securities law weaknesses as a cause of the financial crisis. She has testified before Congress and has supported federal and state legislative and regulatory initiatives on a broad range of investor protection issues.
In addition to her work on financial issues, Roper edits CFAnews Update, a newsletter that reports on legislative and regulatory issues of concern to consumers, and American Saver, the newsletter of CFA's campaign to encourage moderate income Americans to increase their savings. Previously, she also coordinated the Coalition for Consumer Health and Safety, an alliance of consumer, insurance, and health organizations working to reduce product-related deaths, injuries, and illnesses.
Before joining the staff of CFA, Roper was a member of the steering committee of the Denver Food Bank Coalition, an ecumenical coalition of low income assistance centers. She began her career as a newspaper reporter in Colorado Springs, where she later worked in the public information office of The Colorado College. She graduated in 1977 from Princeton University with a degree in art history.
Roper is a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Investor Advisory Committee and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s Standing Advisory Group and Investor Advisory Group. She has previously served on the Investors Working Group, the board of Fund Democracy, the SEC’s Consumer Affairs Advisory Committee, the national advisory board of the American Association of Retired Person's Money After Fifty program, and the board of directors of Motor Voters, a grassroots auto safety group. She is the 1991 recipient of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors' Distinguished Service Award, the 1992 recipient of a Distinguished Service Award from the North American Securities Administrators Association, and a 2004 recipient of Consumer Action=s Consumer Excellence Award.