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An autograph-seeker convinces U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen (C) to sign copies of a picture of herself with U.S. President Barack Obama, after her testimony on the economy before the Joint Economic Committee, on Capitol Hill in Washington May 7, 2014. Yellen said on Wednesday the U.S. economy was still in need of lots of support from the central bank given the "considerable slack" in the labour market, and she cited weakness in the housing sector as a fresh risk. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS) - GM1EA5800TW01
Op-Ed

Janet Yellen and Bill Dudley are leaving the Fed. Who’ll be next to go?

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Editor's Note:

This updates the information contained in a September 2016 post from Peter Olson and David Wessel on the same topic. This post was recently edited to reflect the news that Janet Yellen will not continue to serve on the Board of Governors after Jerome Powell is sworn in as Fed Chair.

Authors

Michael Ng

Research Analyst - Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy

New York Fed President William Dudley has announced that he will be retiring in mid-2018, several months before the end of his term in January 2019. The presidency of the Richmond Fed also remains vacant after Jeffery Lacker unexpectedly resigned in April 2017. After these openings for regional Fed Presidents are filled however, there may not be new vacancies for some time.

Here is the rule: Presidents of regional Fed banks can serve until they’re 65, unless appointed after turning 55, in which case they can serve for a maximum of 10 years or until they’re 75, whichever comes first. Mr. Dudley, appointed on January 27th, 2009, at the age of 57, fell into the second category, which meant his 10 years would have been up January 26th, 2019.  A search for his successor is underway.

Who’s next? The short answer: No one has to go soon. The next Fed bank president who must step down is the Boston Fed’s Eric Rosengren, but not until 2022.

Name Must Leave By Bank Age Now Age Appointed
Dudley January 2019 New York 65 57
Rosengren June 2022 Boston 60 50
Evans January 2023 Chicago 59 49
George January 2023 Kansas City 59 53
Mester May 2024 Cleveland 59 55
Harker June 2025 Philadelphia 59 56
Kaplan September 2025 Dallas 60 58
Bullard February 2026 St. Louis 56 47
Williams June 2027 San Francisco 55 48
Bostic May 2031 Atlanta 51 51
Kashkari July 2038 Minneapolis 44 42
Mullinix* Richmond

*interim president.

The newest Fed regional president, Raphael Bostic of Atlanta, could serve until 2031. However, Neel Kashkari, who is younger than President Bostic, can serve all the way through 2038. There is (at least) one technicality, though. Presidents of the 12 regional Fed banks are up for reappointment every five years. The Fed’s Board of Governors in Washington could replace any one of them, though it hasn’t ever been done.

There have also been significant changes recently at the seven-member Fed Board of Governors in Washington. Vice Chair Stanley Fischer has resigned. President Trump’s pick for the Fed’s Vice-Chair of Supervision, Randal Quarles, has been confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 65-32. And the President has nominated Jerome Powell, a sitting Fed governor, to succeed Janet Yellen as Fed chair when her term expires on February 3rd, 2018. Chair Yellen’s term as a governor doesn’t expire until 2024, but she has said she will resign when Mr. Powell is confirmed by the Senate and sworn in. All this leaves four seats on the Fed board for President Trump to fill, one of whom will be Vice Chair (succeeding Mr. Fischer) and one of whom must by law be a person with community banking experience.

The terms of the Fed’s Board in Washington, by the way, are quite different from regional Fed Presidents. Fed Governors serve on fixed 14-year terms that are staggered so that one term usually expires every one or two years. If governors leave before their term is up, their successor completes their term. Governors filling unexpired terms can still be appointed to a new one, meaning that they can serve for more than 14 years. Only two Fed governors however, have served for over 14 years in the past half-century of Fed history. The median term length was a little over 5 years.

Fed Board Member Age Term Expires
Randal Quarles* 60 January 2018
Janet Yellen** 71 January 2024
Lael Brainard*** 55 January 2026
Jerome Powell 64 January 2028

*Filling an unexpired term, so could be reappointed. Term as Vice-Chair does not expire until October 2021.

**Term as Chair expires in February 2018. She has said she will resign when the Senate confirms her successor as Chair.  

***Filling an unexpired term, so could be reappointed.

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