Chair of the Federal Reserve

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Flag of the United States Federal Reserve.svg
Janet Yellen official Federal Reserve portrait.jpg
Janet Yellen

since February 1, 2014
Appointer President of the United States
Formation August 10, 1914; 100 years ago (1914-08-10)
First holder Charles Sumner Hamlin
Salary $201,700[1] (2014)
Website Bios

The Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is the head of the central banking system of the United States. Known colloquially as "Chair(man) of the Fed", "Fed Chair(man)" or "Fed Chief". The Chair is the "active executive officer"[2] of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The currently used gender-neutral title for this position is "Chair."

The current chair is Janet Yellen, the first woman to hold the position.[3] She began her term on February 1, 2014, and previously served as the Vice-Chair from 2010 to 2014.

1935 reorganization[edit]

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve did not exist prior to the major reorganization of the Fed in 1935 (Banking Act of 1935). Prior to that time, the "Federal Reserve Board" (created in 1913 under the Federal Reserve Act) had a Board of Directors. The directors' salaries were significantly lower (at $12,000 when first appointed in 1914[4]) 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.[5]

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 part of a major shift of power to Washington.

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.

Appointment process[edit]

As stipulated by the Banking Act of 1935, the President appoints the seven members of the Board of Governors; they must then be confirmed by the Senate and serve for 14 years only.[6] Once appointed, Governors may not be removed from office for their policy opinions.[1]

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.[7] 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.[8]

List of Chairs of the Federal Reserve[edit]

The following is a list of past and present Chairs of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. There have been a total of 15 Chairs of the Federal Reserve,[9] who are appointed by the President of the United States.

# Chair[10][11] Years in office President(s) with whom they served[12]
1 Charles Hamlin-headshot.jpg Charles Hamlin August 10, 1914 –
August 19, 1916
Woodrow Wilson
2 William P.G. Harding-headshot.jpg William Harding August 10, 1916 –
August 9, 1922
Woodrow Wilson
Warren Harding
3 Daniel R. Crissinger cropped.jpg Daniel Crissinger May 1, 1923 –
September 15, 1927
Warren Harding
Calvin Coolidge
4 Roy A. Young 2.jpg Roy Young October 4, 1927 –
August 31, 1930
Calvin Coolidge
Herbert Hoover
5 EugeneMeyer.jpg Eugene Meyer September 16, 1930 –
May 10, 1933
Herbert Hoover
Franklin Roosevelt
6 Eugene Black May 19, 1933 –
August 15, 1934
Franklin Roosevelt
7 Marriner Eccles.jpg Marriner Eccles November 15, 1934 –
January 31, 1948[13]
Franklin Roosevelt
Harry Truman
8 Thomas B. McCabe April 15, 1948 –
March 31, 1951
Harry Truman
9 William McChesney Martin jr.jpg William M. Martin April 2, 1951 –
January 31, 1970
Harry Truman
Dwight Eisenhower
John Kennedy
Lyndon Johnson
Richard Nixon
10 ArthurBurns USArmyPhoto 1955.jpg Arthur Burns February 1, 1970 –
January 31, 1978
Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Jimmy Carter
11 Portrait of 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
Jimmy Carter
Ronald Reagan
13 Alan Greenspan color photo portrait.jpg Alan Greenspan August 11, 1987 –
January 31, 2006[14]
Ronald Reagan
George H. W. Bush
Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
14 Ben Bernanke official portrait.jpg Ben Bernanke February 1, 2006 –
January 31, 2014
George W. Bush
Barack Obama
15 Janet Yellen official Federal Reserve portrait.jpg Janet Yellen February 1, 2014[15]
Barack Obama

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "FRB: Who are the members of the Federal Reserve Board, and how are they selected?". 2014-01-31. Retrieved 2015-04-24. 
  2. ^ see 12 U.S.C. § 242
  3. ^ "Senate Confirms Yellen as Fed Chairwoman". New York Times. Retrieved January 6, 2014. 
  4. ^ "The Reserve Board Nominations". The Independent. July 20, 1914. Retrieved August 21, 2012. 
  5. ^ Meltzer, Allan H. (2003). A history of the Federal Reserve: Volume 1, 1913-1951. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 
  6. ^ "The Structure of the Federal Reserve System". Retrieved 2015-04-24. 
  7. ^ Federal Reserve (January 16, 2009). "Board of Governors FAQ". Federal Reserve. Retrieved January 16, 2009. 
  8. ^ 12 U.S.C. § 244
  9. ^ "Federal Reserve Bank Presidents". The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Retrieved December 8, 2007. 
  10. ^ "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. 
  11. ^ Chairs were designated Governors before August 23, 1935.
  12. ^ "Fed Leadership and the 2000 Election". Financial Markets Center. February 26, 1999. Retrieved December 10, 2007. 
  13. ^ Served as Chair Pro Tempore from February 3, 1948, to April 15, 1948.
  14. ^ Served as Chair Pro Tempore from March 3, 1996, to June 20, 1996.
  15. ^ "Econoday Economic Report: FYI January 30, 2014". 2014-02-01. Retrieved 2015-04-24. 

External links[edit]