Chair of the Federal Reserve

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Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Seal of the United States Federal Reserve Board.svg
Seal of the Board of Governors
Flag of the United States Federal Reserve.svg
Jerome H. Powell.jpg
Jerome Powell

since February 5, 2018
United States Federal Reserve System
StyleMr. Chairman
Member ofBoard of Governors
Open Market Committee
Reports toUnited States Congress
SeatEccles Building
Washington, D.C.
AppointerThe President
with Senate advice and consent
Term lengthFour years, renewable (as Chair)
14 years, non-renewable (as governor)
Constituting instrumentFederal Reserve Act
FormationAugust 10, 1914; 106 years ago (1914-08-10)
First holderCharles Sumner Hamlin
Salary$201,700 per annum[1]

The Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is the head of the Federal Reserve, which is the central banking system of the United States. The position is known colloquially as "Chair of the Fed" or "Fed Chair". The chair is the "active executive officer"[2] of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The chair reports to the United States Congress twice a year on progress towards the Fed’s responsibilities and monetary policy objectives, which are "maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates."[3]

The chair is nominated by the President of the United States from among the members of the Board of Governors, and serves a term of four years after being confirmed by the United States Senate. A chair may serve multiple consecutive terms, pending a new nomination and confirmation at the end of each. William Martin was the longest serving chair, holding the position from 1951 to 1970. The chair does not serve at the pleasure of the President, meaning that he or she cannot be dismissed by the President, however, the chair can resign before the end of the term.[3]

The current Chair is Jerome Powell, who was sworn in on February 5, 2018.[4][5][6][7] He was nominated to the position by President Donald Trump on November 2, 2017, and was later confirmed by the Senate.[8]

1935 reorganization[edit]

Section 203 of the Banking Act of 1935 changed the name of the "Federal Reserve Board" to the "Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System."[9] The directors' salaries were significantly lower (at $12,000 when first appointed in 1914[10]) and their terms of office were much shorter prior to 1935. In effect, the Federal Reserve Board members in Washington, D.C., were significantly less powerful than the presidents of the regional Federal Reserve Banks prior to 1935.[11]

In the 1935 Act, the district heads had their titles changed to "President" (e.g., "President of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis").[citation needed]

Appointment process[edit]

Fed chairs from 1979 to 2018

As stipulated by the Banking Act of 1935, the President of the United States appoints the seven members of the Board of Governors; they must then be confirmed by the Senate and serve fourteen year terms.[12][13]

The nominees for chair and vice-chair may be chosen by the President from among the sitting Governors for four-year terms; these appointments are also subject to Senate confirmation.[14] The Senate Committee responsible for vetting a Federal Reserve Chair nominee is the Senate Committee on Banking.

By law, the chair reports twice a year to Congress on the Federal Reserve's monetary policy objectives. He or she also testifies before Congress on numerous other issues and meets periodically with the Treasury Secretary.

Conflict of interest law[edit]

The law applicable to the chair and all other members of the board provides (in part):

No member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System shall be an officer or director of any bank, banking institution, trust company, or Federal Reserve bank or hold stock in any bank, banking institution, or trust company; and before entering upon his duties as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System he shall certify under oath that he has complied with this requirement, and such certification shall be filed with the secretary of the Board.[15]

List of Fed Chairs[edit]

The following is a list of past and present Chairs of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. A chair serves for a four-year term after appointment, but may be reappointed for several consecutive four-year terms. As of 2018, there have been a total of sixteen Fed Chairs.[16]

# Portrait Name[17][18]
Term of office First appointed by
Start of term End of term
1 Charles Hamlin-headshot.jpg Charles Sumner Hamlin
August 10, 1914 August 10, 1916 Woodrow Wilson
2 William P.G. Harding-headshot.jpg William P. G. Harding
August 10, 1916 August 9, 1922
3 Daniel R. Crissinger cropped.jpg Daniel R. Crissinger
May 1, 1923 September 15, 1927 Warren G. Harding
4 Roy A. Young 2.jpg Roy A. Young
October 4, 1927 August 31, 1930 Calvin Coolidge
5 Portrait of Eugene Meyer.jpg Eugene Meyer
September 16, 1930 May 10, 1933 Herbert Hoover
6 Eugene R Black 1934 (cropped).jpg Eugene Robert Black
May 19, 1933 August 15, 1934 Franklin D. Roosevelt
7 Marriner Eccles (cropped).jpg Marriner S. Eccles
November 15, 1934 February 3, 1948[19]
8 00035 DUP (14083184875).jpg Thomas B. McCabe
April 15, 1948 April 2, 1951 Harry S. Truman
9 William McChesney Martin jr.jpg William M. Martin
April 2, 1951 February 1, 1970
10 ArthurBurns USArmyPhoto 1955.jpg Arthur F. Burns
February 1, 1970 January 31, 1978 Richard Nixon
11 G. William Miller.jpg G. William Miller
March 8, 1978 August 6, 1979 Jimmy Carter
12 Paulvolcker.jpg Paul Volcker
August 6, 1979 August 11, 1987
13 Alan Greenspan color photo portrait.jpg Alan Greenspan
August 11, 1987 January 31, 2006[20] Ronald Reagan
14 Ben Bernanke official portrait.jpg Ben Bernanke
February 1, 2006 January 31, 2014 George W. Bush
15 Janet Yellen official Federal Reserve portrait.jpg Janet Yellen
February 3, 2014[21] February 3, 2018 Barack Obama
16 Jerome H. Powell.jpg Jerome Powell
February 5, 2018 Incumbent Donald Trump

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Johnston, Kevin (January 31, 2017). "What Is the Salary of the Federal Reserve Chairman?". Investopedia. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  2. ^ see 12 U.S.C. § 242
  3. ^ a b Can the President Fire the Chairman of the Federal Reserve?
  4. ^ "Jerome H. Powell sworn in as Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System". Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Archived from the original on February 6, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  5. ^ Appelbaum, Binyamin (February 4, 2018). "Powell Takes Over as Fed Chief as Economy Starts to Show Strain". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  6. ^ NPR. "Senate Confirms Jerome Powell As New Federal Reserve Chair". Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  7. ^ Cox, Jeff (January 31, 2018). "Yellen leaving Fed Saturday, Powell to be sworn in Monday". CNBC. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  8. ^ Gensler, Lauren (November 2, 2017). "Trump Taps Jerome Powell As Next Fed Chair In Call For Continuity". Forbes.
  9. ^ Sec. 203, Banking Act of 1935, Public Law no. 305, 49 Stat. 684, 704 (Aug. 23, 1935).
  10. ^ "The Reserve Board Nominations". The Independent. July 20, 1914. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
  11. ^ Meltzer, Allan H. (2003). A history of the Federal Reserve: Volume 1, 1913-1951. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  12. ^ "The Fed - Board Members". Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. February 21, 2018. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  13. ^ "The Structure of the Federal Reserve System". Retrieved April 24, 2015.
  14. ^ Federal Reserve (January 16, 2009). "Board of Governors FAQ". Federal Reserve. Archived from the original on January 17, 2009. Retrieved January 16, 2009.
  15. ^ 12 U.S.C. § 244
  16. ^ "Federal Reserve Bank Presidents". The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Archived from the original on July 14, 2007. Retrieved December 8, 2007.
  17. ^ "Chairs". Membership of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 1914–present. The Federal Reserve Board. February 3, 2014. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  18. ^ Chairs were designated Governors before August 23, 1935, and were then designated Chairmen until approximately 2014, when Yellen became the first female chair.
  19. ^ Served as Chair pro tempore from February 3, 1948 to April 15, 1948.
  20. ^ Served as Chair pro tempore from March 3, 1996 to June 20, 1996.
  21. ^ "Janet L. Yellen, Chair". October 19, 2017. Archived from the original on April 13, 2017. Retrieved January 26, 2018.


External links[edit]