New York Fed selects San Francico’s John Williams as new chief

San Francisco Federal Reserve President starting in June will lead the key New York Fed

New York (AFP) – The New York Federal Reserve Bank said Tuesday it had selected John Williams to take the helm of the institution that is key to monitoring financial markets and implementing central bank policy.

Williams, who currently heads the San Francisco Fed and previously served as Janet Yellen’s deputy there, will assume the post on June 18.

He replaces William Dudley who announced in November that he would retire a few months early.

Williams, who has spent most of his career with the central bank system, and led the San Francisco Fed since 2011, “best fulfilled the criteria” sought in the highly influential role, said Sara Horowitz, chair of that bank’s board of directors and co-chair of the search committee. 

He understands the diversity of the San Francisco Fed’s large district and “the different economic realities of its vast geographies and demographics, which have extensive parallels to the Second District, including Puerto Rico,” she said in a statement. 

“And John has always been willing to speak his mind and encourage the Fed to be forward looking and reflective.”

The New York Fed, in addition to its close proximity to key financial market players, is responsible through its market operations for implementing interest rate changes announced by the Fed policy committee.

Williams said the New York Fed had “unique responsibilities entrusted to us to protect the economic prosperity and financial stability of the United States’ economy.”

Williams will be a unique pick since he has never worked at a financial institution but the choice also is likely to draw criticism from groups that had been encouraging the Fed to add more racial and gender diversity to its leadership posts.

Yellen, the first woman to serve as Fed chair, praised the selection of her former deputy, calling Williams “a distinguished economist who has made major contributions to the formulation of monetary policy.”

And current Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell said Williams was a “thought leader” on monetary policy.