Presidential Search

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 is undertaking 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).

They are 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 Board of Governors' website describes the responsibilities and notes that the Federal Reserve Banks seek candidates who can:

  • Guide the focus of the Bank's economic research and gather economic intelligence through interactions with the Bank's board of directors and other business and community contacts,
  • Provide keen insights to Federal Open Market Committee policy discussions and communicate clearly about monetary policy,
  • Be a strong chief executive officer of the Bank,
  • Ensure that the Bank maintains an effective system of bank supervision by faithfully carrying out its delegated authority from the Board of Governors, and
  • Make strong personal contributions to matters requiring collective System action or direction.

For more information on the requirements of the position and how to apply, please see the job description.

There is no specific deadline for finding a new bank president, although historically similar searches have ranged from six to nine months. The search committee’s priority is to identify the most highly qualified candidates, and the committee will continue fielding, vetting, and interviewing candidates until the best individual for the job has been identified.

The president of a Federal Reserve Bank is appointed for a term of five years. 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.

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 its 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).

In addition, the incumbent will be 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 days' 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 Reserve Bank's board of directors forms a search committee composed of Class B and C directors (those directors who are not bankers). That committee typically hires a search firm to help identify a broad, diverse, highly qualified candidate pool. The committee will consider a nationwide pool of qualified candidates from a wide range of industries and backgrounds, inside and outside the Federal Reserve System. The president is then appointed by the Reserve Bank's Class B and C directors, subject to the approval of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

(For more details, see the Federal Reserve Board of Governors website.)

The search committee’s primary objective is to identify and appoint the best individual to lead the Chicago Fed. In order to accomplish this objective, the search committee will:

  • Work with Diversified Search Group, one of the nation’s leading executive search firms, which was selected to develop a diverse slate of qualified candidates who meet the position’s job requirements.
  • Solicit 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 business, manufacturing, and labor.
  • Provide periodic updates to internal and external stakeholders on progress against key milestones throughout the search; and,
  • Recommend 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, subject to approval by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

Helene Gayle (Chair of the Board, Search Committee Co-Chair)
Class C Director, 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 CEO, UL

Linda Jojo
Class B Director, Executive Vice President of Technology & Chief Digital 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.

The Bank and the Search Committee welcome and encourage public input, nominations and feedback as part of the commitment to fostering a transparent and accessible process. We will be as open and transparent about the search as we can while affording applicants the ability to apply confidentially.

  • Input, comments and questions: Those wishing to provide input to the Search Committee (for example, on the desired attributes of the Bank’s next president) are invited to send comments to CHI.President.Search@chi.frb.org.
  • Applications, nominations or referrals: Anyone who wishes to be considered for the position or to formally nominate an individual should communicate directly with Diversified Search Group at FRB.Chicago.President@divsearch.com.

Thank you!

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Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 230 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604-1413, USA. Tel. (312) 322-5322

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