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Edward R. (Ted) McPherson
Nationally known for achieving valuable results, Ted McPherson serves as a leader, strategic advisor, and innovator for chief executives of Fortune 100 companies, Forbes 400 entrepreneurs, and major investors as Chief Executive Officer of InterSolve Group, Inc., which he founded in 1991 known for JUST-IN-TIME TALENTSM.
Mr. McPherson executes the business agenda of prominent leaders in the United States by taking ownership for producing valuable results and executing through high-performance project teams and alliances of JUST-IN-TIME TALENTSM customized “on demand” from multiple sources. His project teams consist of the best available talent from hand-picked partnering companies, unique enterprises of exceptionally talented people, and top-ranked specialists.
InterSolve Group is widely recognized as America’s first virtual service company that improves performance, profitability and shareholder value. Author Tom Peters called Mr. McPherson a pioneer in 1993 in his seminars, book Crazy Times Call for Crazy Organizations, and newsletter “On Achieving Excellence”. Mr. McPherson was highlighted within Business Week’s cover story on the “Virtual Corporation” in 1993 for earning $14 million in 90 days for a client by leading project teams from four different companies totaling 26 people, only one of whom he had met before, in restructuring business processes, applying information technology, and managing the human side of change.
Other results Mr. McPherson has achieved for clients include:
- Identifying business initiatives in critical advanced technologies with one of the world’s leading industrialists;
- Capturing $50 million in profit improvement for the chief executive of a healthcare company;
- Creating strategic alliances for the chief executive of one of Forbes top-ranked high-growth companies;
- Organizing two hundred million dollars of real estate and financial investments for a person of high net worth;
- Installing a new trading floor computing system on time and budget for a top-ranked chief executive;
- Assessing $1.5 billion of investments in seven major operating systems in one of America’s largest enterprises;
- Rationalizing $800 million in investments for the Chief Executive Officer of a prominent initiative.
He has participated in 25 business acquisitions, issued equity and debt in the domestic and international capital markets, served as a director of a venture capital fund, and received a major award for excellence from the Financial Analysts Federation on Wall Street.
From 2001 through 2005 he achieved breakthrough results as an appointee by President George W. Bush confirmed twice by the United States Senate in two major national assignments in Washington, D.C.
As the Under Secretary of Education of the United States Department of Education in 2004-2005, he led the investing and operating effectiveness of an enterprise that provides in excess of $140 billion annually in loans, grants, and guarantees to instill accountability and competitiveness throughout America’s $1 trillion education industry. Mr. McPherson is credited for creating significant value on behalf of children and taxpayers by assuring productive use of public resources by America’s 92,000 schools, 3 million teachers, 50 million public elementary and secondary students, 16 million college students, and 6,600 institutions of higher education, including Federal Student Aid (FSA). While he was the Under Secretary of Education, Federal Student Aid was removed for the first time by the Government Accountability Office from its high-risk list, and borrower delinquencies in its $400 billion loan portfolio for 22 million college students were reduced by $68 billion from 22% to 5%.
As America’s Under Secretary of Education, Mr. McPherson initiated “management of risk” by governing the Department of Education’s programs as financial services conduits wrapped in policy distributing huge amounts of payments, subsidies, loans, grants, cost reimbursements, and guarantees to the Education Department’s customer base of states, students, grantees, universities, colleges, and school districts. The results were so valuable in improving the productivity of tax-payer cash that the Office of Management and Budget subsequently required twenty-four other Federal departments to adapt active “management of risk”, rather than simply passively disbursing their budgeted funding.
Earlier Mr. McPherson served from October 2001 until April 2004 as Chief Financial Officer of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). He was responsible for the financial leadership of an enterprise that, were it in the private sector, would be one of the largest and most diversified companies in the United States, with more than 100,000 employees, $123 billion in assets and $70 billion in annual spending. The Department of Agriculture provides $100 billion in direct loans, $29 billion in credit guarantees and $38 billion in reinsurance to support America’s farmers, promote global trade, protect America’s food and water, and conduct massive humanitarian programs. USDA is an enormous confederation of twenty-nine separate agencies and offices occupying 4,500 locations in the United States and around the world.
A year after he took office, the Department of Agriculture for the first time ever produced accurate financial statements with sufficient internal control and data integrity meriting a “clean” or unqualified audit opinion from external auditors. This extraordinary achievement after a decade when USDA was unauditable and received “disclaimer opinions” was recognized by the White House and the Secretary of Agriculture through the USDA’s Honor Award.
Achieving this valuable result required massive changes, for example:
- Revamping business, financial management and accounting processes, and installing a standard general accounting system involving 17 conversions;
- Determining the program cost or present value cash flows of $100 billion in loans;
- Reconciling over $100 billion in annual cash receipts and disbursements involving six million open items in 393 United States Treasury accounts, half of which had never been balanced;
- Correcting stewardship deficiencies in $10 billion of real and personal property across America.
Mr. McPherson was also responsible as Chief Financial Officer at USDA for the National Finance Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, that administered the retirement plan of $150 billion for three million civilian and military personnel and processed $26 billion in annual payroll for 550,000 government employees.
Mr. McPherson testified several times in Congress on the results he led, was one of five members of the Executive Committee of the President’s Management Council, and held top-secret and special security clearances so as to perform Homeland Security responsibilities.
In 2010 Mr. McPherson was presented the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Exceptional Public Service Medal “For exemplary leadership, dedication, and commitment to NASA as a member of the NASA Advisory Council from 2005 to 2009... Your contribution will benefit the Nation for generations to come." NASA Award.
He served for six years on the Development Board of the University of Texas at Dallas with over 20,000 students focusing on engineering, computing, nanotechnology, and entrepreneurship. He also served briefly on the board of directors and chaired the audit committee of Guaranty Financial Group, a New York Stock Exchange company, prior to its sale.
With over thirty years of experience in leadership, operating enhancement, business strategy and corporate finance, Mr. McPherson served as Chief Financial Officer for two large public holding companies, including SunAmerica in Los Angeles in 1991, which had over $100 billion of mutual funds, annuities, and investments when sold to American International Group in 1998. Earlier at age 37, he was Chief Financial Officer of First RepublicBank Corporation, then the largest bank holding company in Texas and twelfth in size in the United States, with peaks of $140 million in earnings, $35 billion in assets and 17,000 people prior to its acquisition by Bank of America in 1988.
Earlier he gained recognition as a management consultant with Booz Allen and Hamilton. Previously, as an officer in the United States Navy with the Defense Intelligence Agency, Mr. McPherson was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal for “…outstanding professional competence, sound judgment, and expert knowledge in an assignment which demanded the utmost in versatility, perseverance and resourcefulness.” He graduated from Williams College where he was recognized for “leadership, character, and ability in athletics.” Mr. McPherson has a master’s degree in administration from George Washington University and completed executive programs at the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration and Southern Methodist University.
Mr. McPherson served for seven years as a trustee of the Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas - the largest private secondary school for girls in the United States. He has also assisted young men and women with college scholarship financial grants awarded annually in rural Pennsylvania to several eighth-grade students upon their successful enrollment into college. He and his wife have supported the Gettysburg Foundation that built and operates the Museum and Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park where he facilitated the In the Footsteps of Leaders program. Mr. McPherson recently conducted a Winter Study Course as an adjunct instructor at Williams College titled "Practical Preparation for Working After Williams: Standing Out Instead of Fitting In!" that received outstanding evaluations from students. He is a frequent keynote speaker to business and educational groups, focusing on leadership, character, and competitiveness with his insights appearing in Fast Company, on Reuters and in other media.
Residing in Dallas, Texas, he and his wife Sally have two married children: Beth, a teacher in Boulder, Colorado, and Edward, an associate professor of Creative Writing at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Mr. McPherson is an advocate for excellence in academics and amateur athletics, scored in thirteen college alumni basketball games after the age of fifty-five, and has completed a marathon race.
Mr. McPherson has allotted some time for speaking engagements. If you would like to contact Mr. McPherson please click here.