Learn more about the role and responsibilities of the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the broad and comprehensive search the Search Committee undertook to find the Bank’s next leader.
Roles and Responsibilities
The president of a Federal Reserve Bank is the chief executive officer of the Bank. The president is responsible for all the Bank's activities, including monetary policy, bank supervision and regulation, and payments services. In addition, the president serves on the Federal Reserve's chief monetary policymaking body, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).
The president is responsible for establishing the organization’s strategic direction and achieving its short- and long-term objectives. The president also represents the institution before its core external constituencies: business and community leaders, educators, government officials, bankers, members of the news media, and the public at large.
The terms of all 12 Reserve Bank presidents run concurrently, ending on the last day of February of years numbered 6 and 1 (for example, 2021 and 2026). The appointment of a president who takes office after a term has begun ends upon the completion of that term. A president of a Reserve Bank may be reappointed after serving a full term or an incomplete term. Reserve Bank presidents are subject to mandatory retirement at 65 years of age. However, presidents initially appointed after age 55 can, at the option of the Reserve Bank’s board of directors, be permitted to serve until attaining 10 years of service in the office or age 75, whichever comes first.
Austan D. Goolsbee will fulfill the remainder of President Charles L. Evans’ current five-year term that started on March 1, 2021 and ends on February 28, 2026 at which time Goolsbee will be considered for reappointment through a rigorous and comprehensive process overseen by the Board of Governors.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago expects its employees to perform their duties with honesty, integrity and impartiality, and without improper preferential treatment of any person. The Chicago Fed’s Code of Conduct outlines principles and standards for employee conduct, including rules for avoiding actual and apparent conflicts of interest. Chicago Fed employees are also subject to the same conflict of interest statute that applies to federal government employees (18 U.S.C. Section 208).
As president, Austan D. Goolsbee is also subject to the Federal Reserve System Investment and Trading Policy for FOMC Officials, which includes a prohibition on purchasing individual stocks or sector funds; holding investments in individual bonds, agency securities, cryptocurrencies, commodities, or foreign currencies; entering into derivatives contracts; and engaging in short sales or purchasing securities on margin. Additionally, a 45 day non-retractable notice for purchases and sales of securities is required along with obtaining prior approval for such transactions and holding investments for at least one year.
The Search Process
The process for selecting a Federal Reserve Bank president is detailed in the Federal Reserve Act. To conduct the search, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's board of directors formed a search committee composed of Class B and C directors (those directors not affiliated with a supervised entity). The search committee hired a search firm to help identify a broad, diverse, highly qualified candidate pool. The committee considered a nationwide pool of qualified candidates from a wide range of industries and backgrounds, inside and outside the Federal Reserve System. The president was appointed by the Reserve Bank's Class B and C directors and approved by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
(For more details, see the Federal Reserve Board of Governors website.)
The search committee’s primary objective was to identify and appoint the best individual to lead the Chicago Fed. To accomplish this objective, the search committee:
- Worked with Diversified Search Group, one of the nation’s leading executive search firms, which was selected to identify a diverse slate of qualified candidates who meet the position’s job requirements.
- Solicited input regarding the key attributes that are important in the ideal presidential candidate from a wide range of stakeholders across the Chicago Fed’s District and beyond, including representatives from academia, community and economic development organizations, not-for-profits, industry, small businesses, minority and women-owned businesses, manufacturing, and labor. Nominations for candidates were sought from stakeholders throughout the process.
- Provided periodic updates to internal and external stakeholders on progress against key milestones throughout the search, including a statement from the search committee summarizing input and feedback which was published on the Bank’s website.
- Identified a broad, highly qualified and diverse candidate pool from a variety of backgrounds, professions and regions of the country. Committee members conducted multiple rounds of interviews with candidates; and,
- Recommended to the Chicago Fed’s full board of directors (excluding the Class A directors or those affiliated with financial institutions) a candidate for consideration for appointment as president and CEO; the appointment was approved by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
The Bank and the search committee welcomed and encouraged public input, nominations and feedback as part of the commitment to fostering a transparent and accessible process. Public input was solicited through a town hall and a digital outreach campaign. The committee sought comments and questions on the role and search process as well as applications, nominations and referrals for the position. We thank all who provided input and feedback throughout the process.
Helene Gayle (Chair of the Board, Search Committee Chair)
Class C Director, President, Spelman College; former President and Chief Executive Officer, The Chicago Community Trust
David Habiger (Search Committee Co-Chair)
Class B Director, President & Chief Executive Officer, J.D. Power
Jennifer Scanlon (Deputy Chair of the Board)
Class C Director, President and Chief Executive Officer, UL Solutions
Class B Director, Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer, United Airlines, Inc.
Under Section 4 of the Federal Reserve Act, each Federal Reserve Bank operates pursuant to the supervision of a board of directors, in addition to the general supervision of the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C. The Chicago Fed’s board of directors has nine members on its head office board, all chosen from outside the Federal Reserve; they are divided into three equal classes—designated A, B, and C.
The Class A and Class B directors are elected by the member commercial banks of the Seventh District. The Class C directors are appointed by the Board of Governors. Each year, one Class C director at each Reserve Bank is designated by the Board of Governors as chair of the Bank’s board of directors, and a second Class C director is designated deputy chair.
Class A directors are required to be representative of the member banks in the District. Class B and Class C directors, meanwhile, are required to represent the public “with due but not exclusive consideration to the interests of agriculture, commerce, industry, services, labor and consumers.” Neither Class B nor Class C directors may be officers, directors or employees of any private sector bank or bank holding company. In addition, Class C directors may not own shares in any bank or bank holding company. For more information on the affiliation and stock holding restrictions of Class B and C directors, please see the Board of Governors' website.
Class A directors are expressly excluded from the appointment of Reserve Bank presidents due to concerns about potential conflicts of interest that could arise from bankers participating in the selection of the leadership of their federal bank supervisor.
Class A directors may provide input to members of the search committee in the same manner as the general public.