Williams tapped to head New York Fed

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Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John C. Williams has been selected to become president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Williams will replace current New York Fed President William C. Dudley. Williams will start June 18; Dudley’s last day will be June 17.

When word leaked out that Williams, who has headed the San Francisco Fed since March 2011, was the frontrunner for the New York Fed job, several groups complained the pick did nothing to add diversity to the Fed system.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., requested that Williams and the Fed’s search committee testify before the Senate Banking Committee prior to his selection, if he were the choice.

Williams, a centrist voter, is a respected macro-economist who expects three or four rate hikes this year, depending on data, in line with the Federal Open Market Committee’s median projection. The New York Fed president has a vote every year on the FOMC.

The choice was defended by the search committee co-chairs, who said they picked the best candidate for the job, citing his independence, forward thinking, openness and willingness to ask questions and bring up issues.

“After a thorough process, my fellow search committee members and I felt that John best fulfilled the criteria we’d identified as well as the feedback we’d received through our public outreach efforts,” said Sara Horowitz, founder of the Freelancers Union, Chair of the New York Fed’s Board of Directors and co-chair of the search committee, in a statement. “John cares deeply and is committed to the dual mandate and has led extensive work on the U.S. labor markets and employment. He has meaningfully engaged with and supported the diverse communities that make up the San Francisco Fed’s district, and understands the different economic realities of its vast geographies and demographics, which have extensive parallels to the Second District, including Puerto Rico.”

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and to represent the diverse needs and economic challenges of all people living and working in the Federal Reserve’s Second District and as a member of the Federal Open Market Committee,” Williams said in a statement. “I look forward to joining the talented team of New York Fed colleagues and to carrying out the unique responsibilities entrusted to us to protect the economic prosperity and financial stability of the United States' economy,” he added.

Glenn Hutchins, co-founder of North Island and co-chair of the search committee, said in a statement Williams has the “right experience and expertise to lead the New York Fed. He has a decades-long track record of success in the Federal Reserve System.”

Fed Chair Jerome Powell said, “I have valued his insight and wise counsel during my years at the Federal Reserve and look forward to continuing to work with him in the years ahead.”

In mid-January, the search panel narrowed the list of candidates to around 30, with half of them diverse. The list was later cut to 13, 6 diverse, but two then dropped out. Of the three finalists two were diverse.

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Monetary policy John Williams Federal Reserve Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank of New York