St. Louis Fed President Jim Bullard Announces He Is Stepping Down

July 13, 2023

ST. LOUIS – James Bullard, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, today announced that he will be leaving the Bank effective Aug. 14, 2023, to become the inaugural dean of the Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business at Purdue University, effective Aug. 15, 2023.

Bullard stepped down from his position as president and CEO today but will remain available to the Bank’s leadership in an advisory capacity until Aug. 14 to help ensure a smooth transition. He has recused himself from his monetary policy role on the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee and other related duties and has ceased all public speaking.

“It has been both a privilege and an honor to be part of the St. Louis Fed for the last 33 years, including serving as its president for the last 15 years,” Bullard said. “This is an outstanding organization with staff in every area of the Bank bringing their passion, integrity and a deep sense of purpose to our mission of promoting a healthy economy and financial stability. The Bank is well-positioned for ongoing success and impact. I am also grateful to have worked alongside such dedicated and inspiring colleagues across the Federal Reserve System and for the opportunity to have worked for the many outstanding directors who have served on the St. Louis Fed board. It’s been an honor to serve this great institution.”

Jim McKelvey, chair of the St. Louis Fed’s board of directors, commended Bullard (62) for his years of service to the Federal Reserve System. “Jim Bullard has brought his scholarly expertise and often prescient views to the policy table as the Fed navigated several remarkable economic issues during his 15 years as St. Louis Fed president: the Great Recession, the zero lower bound, high unemployment, the COVID pandemic and the current high inflation,” McKelvey said. “His commitment to outreach and transparency has been unwavering. Bullard also built a strong management team, and we’re confident in the Bank’s ongoing performance and service to the Eighth Federal Reserve District during this transition.”

In accordance with the Federal Reserve Act and confirmed today by the St. Louis Fed board of directors, the Bank’s first vice president and chief operating officer, Kathleen O’Neill Paese, assumed the duties of interim president and CEO, effective immediately. McKelvey called O’Neill Paese an outstanding leader both at the Bank and across the Fed System. “The board of directors has complete confidence in O’Neill Paese and the Bank’s management team during this interim period,” he said.

As board chair, McKelvey and the Bank’s deputy chair, Carolyn Chism Hardy, will lead a search committee composed of the six Bank directors who are not affiliated with regulated banks or financial institutions (Class B and Class C directors), including:

  • James M. McKelvey, Jr., founder and CEO, Invisibly, Inc., St. Louis. McKelvey chairs the Bank’s head office board and will also serve as the search committee chair.
  • Carolyn Chism Hardy, president and CEO, Chism Hardy Investments LLC, Bartlett, Tenn. Chism Hardy is the deputy chair of the Bank’s head office board and will serve as the vice chair of the search committee.
  • Lal Karsanbhai, president and CEO, Emerson Electric Co., St. Louis
  • R. Andrew Clyde, president and CEO, Murphy USA, El Dorado, Ark.
  • Penny Pennington, managing partner, Edward Jones, St. Louis
  • Michael Ugwueke, president and CEO, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, Memphis, Tenn.

The committee will retain a national executive search firm to assist in a search process that is robust, transparent, fair and inclusive. “We have our work cut out for us,” said McKelvey. “Bullard combines economic scholarship with management savvy. His ability to clearly communicate economic policy is a rare gift. Replacing such a special talent will require a special process, so we will be conducting an open, public search for our next great leader.” More information about the search process will be available soon on the St. Louis Fed’s website.

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis serves the Eighth Federal Reserve District, which includes all or parts of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. The St. Louis Fed is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that, together with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., make up the Federal Reserve System. As the nation’s central bank, the Federal Reserve System formulates monetary policy, regulates state-chartered member banks and bank holding companies, provides payment services to financial institutions and the U.S. government, and promotes financial literacy, economic education and community development.

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