Mary Helen Petrus |

Assistant Vice President

Mary Helen Petrus, Assistant Vice President

Mary Helen Petrus is an assistant vice president in the Community Development Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. She is responsible for managing the Department’s outreach efforts and research initiatives. In this role, Ms. Petrus works with economists and analysts on a broad range of issues that affect access to credit and capital in low- and moderate-income communities with an emphasis on policy implications.

Ms. Petrus began her career at the Cleveland Reserve Bank in 2008 as a senior policy analyst in the Community Affairs Department. In 2009, she was promoted to manager in Community Development and she assumed her current position in April, 2014.

Prior to joining the Bank, Ms. Petrus was director of policy development for the former trade association, Cleveland Neighborhood Development Coalition. She was a founding co-director of ReBuild Ohio, a statewide consortium of civic, academic, and community organizations created to study and develop policy recommendations on the debilitating effects of vacant and abandoned property in Ohio. She also served as a budget analyst at the Congressional Budget Office in Washington, DC.

Ms. Petrus holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and political science from Northwestern University and an MA in public policy from the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy Studies.

  • Fed Publications
Title Date Publication Author(s) Type


January, 2014 Vol. 5, No. 1 ; Forefront
Abstract: An innovative videoconference series helps rust belt cities share strategies and successes to help their cities thrive.



January, 2013 Vol. 3, No. 3 ; Forefront
Abstract: Post-recession challenges for Ohio's grant makers, and how the Cleveland Fed is contributing to the solutions



December, 2009 Vol. 1, No. 1 ; Forefront
Abstract: Rampant foreclosures present a dichotomy for communities. On the one hand, foreclosure can deal a crushing blow to the American Dream of homeownership, and it certainly can accelerate the decline of neighborhoods. But often overlooked is the other hand: Foreclosure can sometimes serve as a useful tool to stave off community blight.