How is a Federal Reserve Bank president selected?

The process for selecting a Federal Reserve Bank president is set forth in the Federal Reserve Act. Subject to the approval of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the president is appointed by the Reserve Bank's Class B and C directors (those directors who are not affiliated with a supervised entity).

To conduct the search, the Reserve Bank's board of directors forms a search committee composed of Class B and C directors. That committee hires a search firm to help identify a broad, diverse, highly qualified candidate pool. The committee considers a large nationwide pool of candidates, both within and outside the Federal Reserve System, who meet the position's qualifications. The Banks seek candidates who can

  • guide the focus of the Bank's economic research and gather economic intelligence through interactions with the Bank's board of directors and other business and community contacts,
  • provide keen insights to Federal Open Market Committee policy discussions,
  • communicate clearly about monetary policy,
  • be a strong chief executive officer of the Bank,
  • ensure the Bank maintains an effective system of bank supervision by faithfully carrying out its delegated authority from the Board of Governors, and
  • make strong personal contributions to matters requiring collective System action or direction.

The chair of the Board of Governors' Committee on Federal Reserve Bank Affairs meets regularly with the search committee chair throughout the search process regarding the candidate pool, with a particular focus on ensuring it is broad and diverse. The search committee interviews a range of potential candidates and forwards to the Board of Governors a list of finalist candidates, all of whom are interviewed by the governors.

The Bank's Class B and C directors then formally appoint a candidate, subject to the approval of the Board of Governors.


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Last Update: January 25, 2016