Niagara University alumna Debra A. Baker, a retired financial services executive, has been elected to the Niagara University Board of Trustees. The appointment was announced by the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., president of the university.

During her tenure in the multinational banking and financial services sector, which spanned more than 34 years, Debra served in roles including managing director and head of Global Risk Solutions Asset Servicing Group at BNY Mellon and head of the US Financial Institutions group in BNY Mellon’s corporate trust business. While in corporate trust, Debra also was head of the CDO/CLO group, after originally joining corporate trust as chief administrative officer. She also managed the performance and risk analytics global product management team for BNY Mellon’s asset servicing business in prior years.

Debra joined BNY Mellon in April 1996 as part of an acquisition of JP Morgan’s custody business. At JP Morgan, Debra was with the master custody product division, where she managed the performance measurement and accounting teams. Prior to JP Morgan, she was with Bankers Trust Company for eight years, where she managed the performance measurement group and later managed two of the daily valuation fund groups. Debra began her career at Merrill Lynch Capital Markets, where she attained a supervisory financial analyst role.

 She is a former chairperson of the board of directors for the YWCA of the City of New York and a former board member for The Women’s Bond Club in New York City. Debra has been an active participant in industry-recognized programs, was a founding member and executive steering committee member for BNY Mellon’s Women’s Initiatives Network, and was on the BNY Mellon Diversity and Inclusion Operating Committee. She has been quoted in several industry-related publications on global risk services and was recognized in the Global Custodian “rising star” publication in 2005. In 2011, Debra completed Harvard’s Best Practices for Leadership seminar, and in 2016, she was named one of the “Top 25 Black Women in Business” by the Network Journal.  In 2021, she published her long-awaited memoir, “Only Good Things.”

“Debra’s financial expertise will be a tremendous asset for Niagara University,” said Father Maher. “She believes deeply in our mission and will bring unique and strategic perspectives that will enable us to strengthen the university and support our initiatives well into the future. In addition, her student experience at Niagara and her great faith will be invaluable in advancing our mission within a community that embraces inclusive excellence, where all students can access an exceptional, transformative education.”