Making Sense of the Federal Reserve

Chair of the Federal Reserve Board

Staff members supporting the Chair of the Board of Governors.

Jerome H. Powell became the Chair of the Board of Governors on Feb. 5, 2018.

Heading the Federal Reserve Board of Governors are a Chair and two Vice Chairs.

How are the Chair and Vice Chairs of the Fed chosen? They are Governors of the Federal Reserve Board whom the president of the United States appoints, with the advice and consent of the Senate, to serve four-year terms.

Jerome PowellThe current Chair of the Board of Governors is Jerome H. Powell. His position is highly visible.

The Fed Chair reports twice a year to Congress on the Fed's monetary policy objectives, testifies before Congress on numerous other issues, and meets periodically with the secretary of the Treasury. Other Board of Governors officials are also called to testify before Congress, and they maintain regular contact with other government organizations, as well.

Meanwhile, one of the Vice Chairs serves in the absence of the Chair. The other is designated Vice Chair for Supervision and is responsible for developing policy recommendations for the Board regarding supervision and regulation of depository institutions, holding companies and other financial firms supervised by the Board of Governors.

As the Federal Reserve's centralized component, the seven members of the Board of Governors including the Chair and Vice Chairs guide the Federal Reserve's policy actions, study trends in the economy, and help forecast the country's future economic direction. The Governors also participate in monetary policymaking on the FOMC. In addition, the Board of Governors is responsible for regulations to keep the banking system sound and for overseeing the operations of the 12 Reserve Banks.

In a later section, you will learn how the Reserve Banks supervise their member banks to ensure they comply with these regulations.

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