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
Flag of the United States Federal Reserve.svg
Jerome H. Powell.jpg
Jerome Powell

since February 5, 2018
Appointerthe President of the United States (with Senate advice and consent)
FormationAugust 10, 1914; 104 years ago (1914-08-10)
First holderCharles Sumner Hamlin
Salary$201,700 (2017)[1]
WebsiteOfficial bio

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 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 Chairman is Jerome Powell, who was sworn in on February 5, 2018.[3][4][5][6] He was nominated to the position by President Donald Trump on November 2, 2017, and was later confirmed by the United States Senate.[7]

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."[8] The directors' salaries were significantly lower (at $12,000 when first appointed in 1914[9]) 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.[10]

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 1979-2018

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.[11][12]

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.[13] The Senate Committee responsible for vetting a Fed 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.[14]

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.[15]

# Photo Name (chair)[16][17]
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
President Woodrow Wilson portrait December 2 1912.jpg
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
Warren G Harding portrait as senator June 1920.jpg
4 Roy A. Young 2.jpg Roy A. Young
October 4, 1927 August 31, 1930 Calvin Coolidge
John Calvin Coolidge, Bain bw photo portrait.jpg
5 Portrait of Eugene Meyer.jpg Eugene Meyer
September 16, 1930 May 10, 1933 Herbert Hoover
President Hoover portrait.jpg
6 Eugene R Black 1934 (cropped).jpg Eugene Robert Black
May 19, 1933 August 15, 1934 Franklin D. Roosevelt
FDR in 1933.jpg
7 Marriner Eccles (cropped).jpg Marriner S. Eccles
November 15, 1934 February 3, 1948[18]
8 00035 DUP (14083184875).jpg Thomas B. McCabe
April 15, 1948 April 2, 1951 Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman.jpg
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
Richard M. Nixon, ca. 1935 - 1982 - NARA - 530679.jpg
11 G. William Miller.jpg G. William Miller
March 8, 1978 August 6, 1979 Jimmy Carter
Carter cropped.jpg
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[19] Ronald Reagan
Official Portrait of President Reagan 1981-cropped.jpg
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[20] February 3, 2018 Barack Obama
Obama portrait crop.jpg
16 Jerome H. Powell.jpg Jerome Powell
February 5, 2018 Incumbent Donald Trump
Donald Trump official portrait (cropped).jpg

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Johnston, Kevin (January 31, 2017). "What Is the Salary of the Federal Reserve Chairman?". Investopedia. Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  2. ^ see 12 U.S.C. § 242
  3. ^ "Jerome H. Powell sworn in as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System". Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  4. ^ Appelbaum, Binyamin (2018-02-04). "Powell Takes Over as Fed Chief as Economy Starts to Show Strain". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  5. ^ NPR. "Senate Confirms Jerome Powell As New Federal Reserve Chair". Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  6. ^ Cox, Jeff (January 31, 2018). "Yellen leaving Fed Saturday, Powell to be sworn in Monday". CNBC. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  7. ^ Gensler, Lauren (November 2, 2017). "Trump Taps Jerome Powell As Next Fed Chair In Call For Continuity". Forbes.
  8. ^ Sec. 203, Banking Act of 1935, Public Law no. 305, 49 Stat. 684, 704 (Aug. 23, 1935).
  9. ^ "The Reserve Board Nominations". The Independent. July 20, 1914. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
  10. ^ Meltzer, Allan H. (2003). A history of the Federal Reserve: Volume 1, 1913-1951. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  11. ^ "The Fed - Board Members". Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. February 21, 2018. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  12. ^ "The Structure of the Federal Reserve System". Retrieved April 24, 2015.
  13. ^ Federal Reserve (January 16, 2009). "Board of Governors FAQ". Federal Reserve. Archived from the original on January 17, 2009. Retrieved January 16, 2009.
  14. ^ 12 U.S.C. § 244
  15. ^ "Federal Reserve Bank Presidents". The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Retrieved December 8, 2007.
  16. ^ "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.
  17. ^ Chairs were designated Governors before August 23, 1935, and were then designated Chairmen until approximately 2014, when Yellen became the first female chair.
  18. ^ Served as Chair pro tempore from February 3, 1948 to April 15, 1948.
  19. ^ Served as Chair pro tempore from March 3, 1996 to June 20, 1996.
  20. ^ "Janet L. Yellen, Chair". October 19, 2017. Retrieved January 26, 2018.


External links[edit]