Who will chair the Federal Reserve after Yellen?

Runners and riders for the US central bank board


The Federal Reserve Board is in the middle of sweeping change on its executive corridor. President Donald Trump has named Fed board governor Jay Powell as his nominee for the next Fed chair. Stanley Fischer, the vice chair, stepped down in the middle of October. On top of that, the president has a number of other vacancies to fill.

This is the FT’s guide to the runners and riders. Click on each seat on the Fed’s seven-person Board of Governors to see what is likely to change.

Potential successors lining up
Seat not likely vacated soon


Janet Yellen

Term as chair expires 2018

Vice chair






Community banker


Randal Quarles

Vice chair for supervision


Jay Powell

Fed chair nominee, pending Senate confirmation


Lael Brainard

Term as governor expires 2026

© Bloomberg, Reuters

Janet Yellen, chair

Janet Yellen’s term as Federal Reserve chair ends on February 3 next year, and President Donald Trump has named current Fed board governor Jay Powell as his choice for her successor. Mr Trump attacked Ms Yellen on the campaign trail, accusing her of doing Barack Obama’s bidding by keeping rates low, but abruptly halted any criticism of the Fed since his inauguration.

Instead, Mr Trump has said he likes and respects Ms Yellen and refused to close down the possibility of reappointing her. While Ms Yellen’s term as chair is up for renewal in early 2018, her term as a governor on the Federal Reserve extends until January 2024. It is therefore possible, although unlikely, that she could stay on the board even though Mr Trump did not nominate her for a second term as Fed chair.

Jay Powell

Governor on the Federal Reserve Board

Donald Trump announced that Jay Powell would be the next Fed chair on November 3. The former Treasury official under George HW Bush has been a governor on the Federal Reserve Board since 2012. Mr Powell has support within the Republican party and would represent a continuity candidate rather than a sharp break from the regime of Janet Yellen. Some Republicans expect him to be more amenable to reducing regulatory burdens.

Vacant, vice chair

Stanley Fischer stepped down as vice chair of the Federal Reserve on October 13 for personal reasons, having served on the board since May 2014. The former Bank of Israel governor’s term as vice chair was not set to end until June next year, and his term as governor was not due to expire until 2020. Mr Fischer is seen as having occupied the hawkish end of the spectrum on the board.

Jay Powell, governor

Jay Powell’s term as governor ends on January 31, 2028, and he has served as a governor since 2012. Known as one of the workhorses of the Federal Reserve Board, Mr Powell chairs five of its eight board committees and sub-committees. He is a centrist on monetary policy who took over responsibility for financial regulation when Daniel Tarullo departed the Fed in April. He served at the Treasury under George HW Bush, focusing on financial institutions and the Treasury debt market, and worked extensively on markets matters as a Fed governor.

Lael Brainard, governor

Lael Brainard’s term as governor ends on January 31, 2026. She has served on the board of governors since 2014. Formerly a senior official at the Treasury under Barack Obama, Ms Brainard was widely seen as a potential Treasury Secretary if Hillary Clinton had won the presidential election. She has occupied the more dovish end of the spectrum at the Fed. She has warned against excessive tightening because of residual slack in the jobs market and the risk that overseas shocks ricochet back to the US via highly integrated capital markets.

Vacant, governor

Marvin Goodfriend

Professor of economics at Carnegie Mellon University, former Richmond Fed official

Mr Goodfriend is Mr Trump’s preferred candidate for one of the other vacant board seats, but he has yet to be formally nominated. He has been seen as a conservative on monetary policy, in part because of his backing for the use of stricter policy rules when setting rates. He has also warned about purchases of mortgage-backed securities in quantitative easing. However Mr Goodfriend’s interests also include the use of negative interest rates as a tool for stimulating growth, suggesting he is not ideologically opposed to activist monetary policy.

Randal Quarles, governor - vice chair for supervision

Randal Quarles was officially confirmed as vice chair for supervision in early October. His candidacy was welcomed by bankers hoping for an easing of the Fed’s tough approach to post-crisis regulation, but the private equity founder and former under secretary of the Treasury under George W Bush is seen as a pragmatist rather than an ideological opponent of regulation. Mr Quarles will be the first to serve as vice chair for supervision, a position that was created in 2010 under the Dodd-Frank Act. Former Fed governor Daniel Tarullo unofficially handled vice chair for supervision duties until he resigned from the Fed board in April 2017.

Vacant, governor - community banker

A piece of legislation enacted in 2015 requires that one of the seven Federal Reserve Board members demonstrate experience in or overseeing community banks that have less than $10bn of assets. The Trump administration has been seeking a governor for one of the vacant seats who fulfils this criteria, but it has not been easy for it to find a suitable nominee.

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