On behalf of the search committee of the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, we are pleased to provide the following update on the presidential search process—what we have done, what we have learned, where we are today, and what can be expected going forward.
As we have said from the outset, we are committed to conducting an open search process that includes soliciting input from stakeholders across the New York Fed’s district and beyond. We are equally committed to identifying a diverse slate of potential candidates and interviewing a range of candidates reflecting the diversity of the qualified candidate pool in order to find the best candidate for this institution.
Everything we have done since launching our search is consistent with those principles. In the first months of the process, we, along with representatives from our two search firms, Spencer Stuart and Bridge Partners, engaged in extensive outreach. We sent nearly 400 letters to community groups, foundations, universities, and other organizations in the district, informing them of the search and asking for their views on the New York Fed and potential candidates. We also met with seven of the Bank’s advisory groups, including the Community Advisory Group, the Advisory Council on Small Business and Agriculture, and the Economic Advisory Panel, and we convened meetings at the New York Fed with labor, consumer, business, and industry representatives.
The purpose of those meetings was to understand the economic concerns of the various stakeholders and get their perspectives on the attributes a new president should have and the challenges she/he might face. There was overwhelming consensus among stakeholders that the next president of the New York Fed should have a deep understanding of the national and international economy, monetary policy, the financial system and capital markets, and that the individual should have crisis management expertise. In addition, participants raised additional attributes, including that she/he:
- demonstrates an equal commitment to both parts of the dual mandate—full employment and price stability;
- is equally committed to fostering financial stability;
- has the independence and moral courage to speak out, highlighting risks and concerns that others do not, and is an effective communicator;
- has a substantive understanding of and concern for demographic trends in the district, including the aging population and immigration, and how economically unique the different parts of the district are, including Puerto Rico and rural areas;
- understands different economic forces, including technology and its effects on the financial sector and on labor and productivity;
- recognizes the problem of a lack of income mobility among Americans; and,
- is a strong, decisive and empathetic leader.
This feedback has certainly informed our thinking, and we modified the key attributes in the job description several times to clarify or add an important skill or area of expertise, including an understanding of the “plumbing” of the banking system, the international role of the New York Fed, the new economy and labor markets.
We are pleased to report that due to these efforts and those of our search firms, we have had a great deal of interest from a deep pool of candidates for the position. The interest has come from many quarters, representing not just demographic and gender diversity but also diversity of experiences and perspectives. We have seen a healthy mix of individuals with private and public sector experience, a range of academic backgrounds, and economic philosophies.
Towards the end of the year, the search committee focused its efforts on reviewing a long list of candidates to identify those most qualified for the role. We narrowed that list to approximately 30, and after subsequent meetings and discussions in January narrowed it further by around half. In late January, we began meeting with candidates one-on-one and as a committee. Based on those meetings and after a small number of candidates opted out of the process, we further narrowed the list to a handful of final candidates, who we are pleased to say are eminently qualified.
We fully expect to decide on a final candidate—who we will then submit to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve for approval—though we continue to encourage members of the public to share any concerns or ideas regarding the search through PresidentialSearch@ny.frb.org.
We look forward to concluding this process and sharing with you the new president of the New York Fed.