Chair of the Federal Reserve
|Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System|
Seal of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors
Flag of the Federal Reserve System
|Appointer||President of the United States|
|Formation||August 10, 1914|
|First holder||Charles Sumner Hamlin|
The Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is the head of 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" of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
The chair is chosen by the President of the United States from among the members of the Board of Governors; and serves for four-year-terms after appointment. A chair may be appointed for several consecutive terms. William Martin was the longest serving chair, holding the position from 1951 to 1970. The current chair is Janet Yellen, the first woman to hold the position. She began her term on February 1, 2014, and previously served as the Vice-Chair from 2010 to 2014. The current term will end on or about February 1, 2018.
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." The directors' salaries were significantly lower (at $12,000 when first appointed in 1914) 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.
In the 1935 Act, the district heads had their titles changed to "President" (e.g., "President of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis").
Thus, Marriner Eccles was the first actual "Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Board". The others prior to 1935 were "Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve System", with much more circumscribed power.
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.
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. 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
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.
List of Fed Chairs
The following is a list of past and present Chairs of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. As of 2014, there have been a total of fifteen Fed Chairs.
|Photo||Term of office||Appointed by
|Start of term||End of term|
|1||Charles Sumner Hamlin
|August 10, 1914||August 10, 1916||Woodrow Wilson
|2||William P. G. Harding
|August 10, 1916||August 9, 1922|
|3||Daniel R. Crissinger
|May 1, 1923||September 15, 1927||Warren G. Harding
|4||Roy A. Young
|October 4, 1927||August 31, 1930||Calvin Coolidge
|September 16, 1930||May 10, 1933||Herbert Hoover
|6||Eugene Robert Black
|May 19, 1933||August 15, 1934||Franklin D. Roosevelt
|7||Marriner S. Eccles
|November 15, 1934||February 3, 1948|
|8||Thomas B. McCabe
|April 15, 1948||April 2, 1951||Harry S. Truman
|9||William M. Martin
|April 2, 1951||February 1, 1970|
|10||Arthur F. Burns
|February 1, 1970||January 31, 1978||Richard Nixon
|11||G. William Miller
|March 8, 1978||August 6, 1979||Jimmy Carter
|August 6, 1979||August 11, 1987|
|August 11, 1987||January 31, 2006||Ronald Reagan
|February 1, 2006||January 31, 2014||George W. Bush
|February 1, 2014||Incumbent||Barack Obama
- "Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen Makes Less Than 113 Other Staffers At The Fed". The Huffington Post. December 16, 2014. Retrieved April 24, 2015.
- see 12 U.S.C. § 242
- "Senate Confirms Yellen as Fed Chairwoman". New York Times. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
- Sec. 203, Banking Act of 1935, Public Law no. 305, 49 Stat. 684, 704 (Aug. 23, 1935).
- "The Reserve Board Nominations". The Independent. July 20, 1914. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
- Meltzer, Allan H. (2003). A history of the Federal Reserve: Volume 1, 1913-1951. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- "The Structure of the Federal Reserve System". Federalreserve.gov. Retrieved April 24, 2015.
- Federal Reserve (January 16, 2009). "Board of Governors FAQ". Federal Reserve. Retrieved January 16, 2009.
- 12 U.S.C. § 244
- "Federal Reserve Bank Presidents". The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Retrieved December 8, 2007.
- "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.
- Chairs were designated Governors before August 23, 1935.
- Served as Chair pro tempore from February 3, 1948 to April 15, 1948.
- Served as Chair pro tempore from March 3, 1996 to June 20, 1996.
- "Econoday Economic Report: FYI January 30, 2014". Bloomberg.econoday.com. February 1, 2014. Retrieved April 24, 2015.
- Beckhart, Benjamin Haggott. 1972. Federal Reserve System. [New York]: American Institute of Banking.
- Shull, Bernard. 2005. The fourth branch: the Federal Reserve's unlikely rise to power and influence. Westport, Conn.: Praeger.
- Andrews, Edmund L. (November 5, 2005). "All for a more open Fed". New Straits Times. p. 21.
- "Executive Order 11110 - Amendment of Executive Order No. 10289 as Amended, Relating to the Performance of Certain Functions Affecting the Department of the Treasury". The American Presidency Project., via UCSB.edu
- Official website
- Public Statements of the Chairs of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, via the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank
- Nomination hearings, conducted in the Senate, for Chairs and Members of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
- Timeline of Federal Reserve Chairs with related resources