|Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System|
Seal of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors
Flag of the Federal Reserve System
|Appointer||President of the United States|
|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 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 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 chair is Janet Yellen, the first woman to hold the position. She began her term on February 1, 2014, and previously served as the Vice-Chair from 2010 to 2014. The current term will end on or about February 1, 2018.
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").
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.
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. 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.
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.
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 2014, there have been a total of fifteen Fed Chairs.
|Photo||Term of office||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 1, 2014||Incumbent||Barack Obama