Meet Joyce Hansen ’74

July 31, 2017

Meet Joyce Hansen from the class of 1974. She’s starting the next phase (some might argue the best!) after an amazing career at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. We’re honored to have Joyce amongst our ranks. Anassa kata, Joyce!

Here’s Joyce’s story in her own words:

I have just started a new chapter in my life after retiring as Deputy General Counsel at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. I spent my entire career there—a whopping 37 years. When the NY Fed celebrated its centennial just a few years ago, I was stunned to realize that I had been part of it for more than a third of its existence! While it is no longer the norm for someone to spend an entire career at one organization there are certain special places like the NY Fed which tend to keep one “engaged” and I think many of my colleagues have and will spend a good chunk of there career there.

Of course my “job” and the institution itself was constantly changing because financial markets were changing so rapidly. It is hard to believe that when I started as a lawyer in 1979, banks could only pay the amount of interest on an account as permitted by regulation and financial markets were not global. So I had to be engaged in lifetime learning to be effective. I had the great advantage of working with so many bright and engaging people: lawyers, economists, policy makers, and administrators. I am grateful for the opportunities I had and the institution has many women in senior positions that were role models and I myself became one of them.

I was fortunate to be a witness and participant in so many historical events in which the NY Fed played an important role: the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979-1980– the NY Fed held Iranian government assets that after weeks of intense negotiations were returned to Iran as President Reagan was taking the oath of office and the plane with the U.S. hostages left Iranian airspace; the Latin American debt crisis; the 1987 stock market break; the thrift crisis when many of those institutions became insolvent; 9/11-the NY Fed was only two blocks from the Towers; the failure of Lehman Brothers, and the Great Recession, to name a few of the most significant.

My husband Dale and I live in NYC and have no intention of moving in retirement. I finally have the time to experience more of the cultural riches New York has to offer: theater, museums, play-readings by new authors, and morning rehearsals of the New York Philharmonic, and renewing old friendships and making new ones. I am pleased to discover that New York offers many intriguing cultural experiences for free.

My other passion is travel and by the end of 2017 we will have taken 6 major trips. Some of the trips are with Bryn Mawr Alumnae Travel including one to Sri Lanka we will be taking with some of my classmates in October.

My advice to the incoming classes and graduating classes are not that different. Don’t stand still. Always strive to learn new things and try to be better and more effective at what you are doing every day. Bryn Mawrters don’t need to hear that-they know it! One thing I wished I had done when facing a difficult task was to ask for some coaching or guidance. I didn’t know that one could do that. I thought I had to do it all alone. I didn’t know how much colleagues, teachers, and mentors are eager and willing to share their wisdom and friendly advice. So don’t be afraid to ask.