Chair of the Federal Reserve
|Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System|
Seal of the Board of Governors
Flag of the Fed
|United States Federal Reserve System|
|Member of||Board of Governors|
Open Market Committee
|Reports to||United States Congress|
with Senate advice and consent
|Term length||Four years, renewable|
|Constituting instrument||Federal Reserve Act|
|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 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" of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The chair reports to 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."
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, though the chair can resign before the end of the term.
The current Chairman is Jerome Powell, who was sworn in on February 5, 2018. He was nominated to the position by President Donald Trump on November 2, 2017, and was later confirmed by the Senate.
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").
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. 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
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. 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.
|Term of office||First 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 3, 2014||February 3, 2018||Barack Obama|
|February 5, 2018||Incumbent||Donald Trump|
- Johnston, Kevin (January 31, 2017). "What Is the Salary of the Federal Reserve Chairman?". Investopedia. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
- see 12 U.S.C. § 242
- Can the President Fire the Chairman of the Federal Reserve?
- "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 February 5, 2018.
- 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.
- NPR. "Senate Confirms Jerome Powell As New Federal Reserve Chair". Retrieved February 3, 2018.
- Cox, Jeff (January 31, 2018). "Yellen leaving Fed Saturday, Powell to be sworn in Monday". CNBC. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
- Gensler, Lauren (November 2, 2017). "Trump Taps Jerome Powell As Next Fed Chair In Call For Continuity". Forbes.
- 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 Fed - Board Members". Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. February 21, 2018. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
- "The Structure of the Federal Reserve System". Federalreserve.gov. Retrieved April 24, 2015.
- Federal Reserve (January 16, 2009). "Board of Governors FAQ". Federal Reserve. Archived from the original on January 17, 2009. 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, and were then designated Chairmen until approximately 2014, when Yellen became the first female chair.
- 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.
- "Janet L. Yellen, Chair". federalreserve.gov. October 19, 2017. Archived from the original on April 13, 2017. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
- 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