I know the President of USA appoints, and the US Congress confirms, the Governors of the Federal Reserve system, and that there can not be 2 Governors from the same Federal Reserve District, but can the President appoint anyone he chooses or does he have to appoint someone that belongs to one of 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks?

Only answers with sources please.

1 Answer 1


There seem to be very few restrictions.

12 USC § 241 - Creation; membership; compensation and expenses:

In selecting the members of the Board, not more than one of whom shall be selected from any one Federal Reserve district, the President shall have due regard to a fair representation of the financial, agricultural, industrial, and commercial interests, and geographical divisions of the country. The members of the Board shall devote their entire time to the business of the Board and shall each receive basic compensation at the rate of $15,000 per annum, payable monthly, together with actual necessary traveling expenses.

So, you need them to NOT share a Federal Reserve district, you need them to be a diverse representation of various economic interests and geographic areas, and they can not hold a competing job (shall devote their entire time to the business of the Board).

The president can clearly pick pretty much any bumpkin as long as Congress will approve them. Case in point: Sarah Bloom Raskin (the last one in the Wiki list of governors - I'm sure I can easily find more if I bother checking the rest of the list).

Nominated by Pres Obama in 2010.

Her education is J.D. degree from Harvard Law School and a B.A. in economics from Amherst College (not exactly a stellar economics academic achievement - no MA, never mind PhD in Economics). Her only listed relevant experience is 3 years as Maryland state banking regulator. Commentary after the appointment was that she's expected to basically just serve as a yes-person to Ben Bernanke, it'd be interesting to check how that worked out.

  • Contrast her with another Obama appointee, Janet Louise Yellen - an American economist and professor, who is the Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Previously, she was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President Bill Clinton, and Professor Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business. Decidedly NOT a random bumpkin.
  • A cynic in me notes that Raskin was possibly picked since her spouse is a Democratic politician. But surely that kind of pull and nepotism never influence appointment decisions in our politics.
    – user4012
    Commented Mar 9, 2013 at 5:03
  • thx so Sarah Bloom Raskin never having been member of any of the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks, proves that they don't have to have been a member to be appointed.
    – Jo Rijo
    Commented Mar 10, 2013 at 5:51
  • Nepotism aside (which could very well be the case), I think it's not uncommon for regulators in the Fed system to have JD's and not PhD's, since a large portion of the regulatory responsibility is highly linked to legal issues as well. Commented Oct 6, 2013 at 13:53

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