07/05/2013 11:39 am ET Updated Sep 04, 2013

Working Through Management Challenges at the National Credit Union Administration

The economic crisis that unfolded in 2008 and 2009 had a severe impact on all of the nation's financial institutions, including credit unions. Debbie Matz, the chairman of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), regulates more than 6,700 federally insured credit unions. During the crisis, she instituted a number of reforms and oversaw the raising of nearly $30 billion from the sale of securitized notes to provide liquidity to the system.

Matz spoke with Tom Fox, a guest writer for On Leadership and the vice president for leadership and innovation at the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service. Fox also heads the Partnership's Center for Government Leadership. His organization works with NCUA's leadership team to help them improve employee satisfaction and commitment.

How would you explain the National Credit Union Administration to the American public?

We protect the deposits of the almost 95 million Americans who have accounts at federally insured credit unions. It's an industry with $1 trillion in assets. But it's one of those jobs, like many other federal jobs, which, when you do your job well, it's invisible and nobody knows you're doing it. No one has ever lost a penny at a federally insured credit union. That is our best reward -- we are doing our job well and federally insured credit unions are safe and sound.