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U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell takes questions during a news conference following the two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy meeting in Washington, U.S., March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst - RC1E639BA290
Op-Ed

Who has to leave the Federal Reserve next?

Editor's Note:

This post was previously also updated by Kadija Yilla. It is based on a November 2017 blog by Michael Ng and David Wessel.

The Federal Reserve underwent substantial turnover at the top in late 2021 and early 2022. President Biden nominated three new governors for the seven-member Federal Reserve Board in Washington. Two of the 12 regional Federal Reserve banks named new presidents. Two more Fed bank presidents will hit mandatory retirement age in 2023 (Chicago and Kansas).

By law, the president nominates a Fed chair and the two vice chairs for four-year terms. They must be confirmed by the Senate for those positions in a vote distinct from their confirmation as members of the Fed Board of Governors. Jerome Powell was confirmed for a second four-year term as chair on May 12, 2022. Biden nominated, and the Senate confirmed on April 26, 2022, sitting Fed governor Lael Brainard to succeed Richard Clarida for a four-year term as vice chair. In May 2022, the Senate also confirmed Biden’s nominations of Lisa Cook for a term as governor that expires 2024 and Philip Jefferson for a term as governor that expires 2036.

The president nominated Sarah Bloom Raskin to succeed Randal Quarles as vice chair for (bank) supervision and for the term as governor that expires in 2032, after Quarles resigned as a Fed governor at the end of December 2021. She withdrew her name in March 2022. Biden subsequently nominated Michael Barr for that post, and he was confirmed on July 13, 2022.

The president and Senate have no say in picking presidents of the 12 regional Fed banks—they’re chosen by their private sector boards of directors, subject to the approval of the Fed Board of Governors in Washington.

Presidents of the 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. For instance, Mary Daly, appointed on October 1, 2018, at the age of 55, falls into the second category, which means her term is up in October of 2028. Neel Kashkari, the youngest of the current regional presidents, can serve through 2038. Charles Evans of the Chicago Fed and Esther George of the Kansas City Fed are due to retire in 2023. (As Kaleb Nygaard has documented, this retirement rule dates to a 1936 decision by the Board of Governors.)

After press reports of their stock market trading raised eyebrows, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren retired, citing health issues, on September 30, 2021, nine months earlier than his mandatory retirement, and Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan retired on October 8, 2021, four years before his mandatory retirement date, because “recent focus on [his] financial disclosure risks becoming a distraction to the Federal Reserve.” The Boston Fed subsequently named Susan Collins as its new president, and the Dallas Fed named Lorie Logan.

Name Must Leave By Bank Age Now Age Appointed
Charles Evans January 2023 Chicago 64 49
Esther George January 2023 Kansas City 64 53
Loretta Mester May 2024 Cleveland 63 55
Patrick Harker June 2025 Philadelphia 63 56
James Bullard February 2026 St. Louis 61 47
Thomas Barkin January 2028 Richmond 60 56
John Williams June 2028 New York 60 56
Mary Daly October 2028 San Francisco 59 55
Raphael Bostic May 2031 Atlanta 56 51
Susan Collins July 2032 Boston 63 63
Neel Kashkari July 2038 Minneapolis 49 42
Lorie Logan February 2038 Dallas 49 49

The Fed governors in Washington serve fixed 14-year terms that are staggered; one term expires every two years. If a governor leaves before his or her term is up, the 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 more than 14 years in the past half-century of Fed history. The median term length is a little over five years. By law, the president cannot remove a governor except “for cause,” a legal term that means he would have to show that the person had done something wrong. Presidents of the 12 regional Fed banks are up for reappointment every five years. The Fed Board of Governors in Washington could replace any of them, though it hasn’t ever done so.

Fed Board Member Term Expires
Lisa Cook* January 2024
Lael Brainard* January 2026
Jerome Powell January 2028
Christopher Waller* January 2030
Michael Barr* January 2032
Michelle Bowman January 2034
Philip Jefferson* January 2036

*Filling an unexpired term, so could be reappointed.

Two of the current members of the Fed Board of Governors were initially appointed by Donald Trump (Bowman and Waller). Powell was originally appointed to the Board by Barack Obama in 201 and was first named chair by Donald Trump.


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