Office of the President

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John C. Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer

John C. Williams took office as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco on March 1, 2011. In this role, he serves on the Federal Open Market Committee, bringing the Fed’s Twelfth District’s perspective to monetary policy discussions in Washington.

Dr. Williams was previously the executive vice president and director of research for the San Francisco bank, which he joined in 2002. He began his career in 1994 as an economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, following the completion of his Ph.D. in Economics at Stanford University. Prior to that, he earned a Master’s of Science from the London School of Economics, and an A.B. from the University of California at Berkeley.

Dr. Williams’ research focuses on topics including: monetary policy under uncertainty; innovation; productivity, and business cycles. He has published numerous articles in leading research journals. He currently serves as the managing editor of the International Journal of Central Banking. Previously, he served as associate editor of the American Economic Review. Additionally, he served as senior economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers and as a lecturer at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

Dr. Williams, 54, is a native of Sacramento, California. He is married with two sons and resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Updated June 2016

Recent Presidents
Past Presidents
Presidents of the 12th District

The Federal Reserve Act provides that the president of a Federal Reserve Bank shall be the chief executive officer of the Bank, appointed by the board of directors of the Bank, with the approval of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, for a term of five years. Twelve individuals have led the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, ranging in terms of service from one year to 18 years. The first three leaders held the title “Governor.” The Banking Act of 1935 abolished the dual role of governor and agent and created a single leadership role – president. Many who served likely shared the sentiment of our current president, John C. Williams as expressed in the 2010 annual report: “As I take on this new role, I feel a keen sense of responsibility both to the Federal Reserve System and to the communities of the Twelfth Federal Reserve District, who rely on us to safeguard the financial system and set a prudent course on monetary policy.”

To learn more about Federal Reserve Bank Presidents throughout the System, visit the Federal Reserve Board of Governors site.

Archibald Kains

Archibald Kains

Served 1914-1917, resigned July 1917

James Kennedy Lynch

James Kennedy Lynch

Served 1917-1919

John Uberto Calkins, Sr.

John Uberto Calkins, Sr.

Served 1919-1936, retired March 1936

William Aymar Day

William Aymar Day

Served 1936-1945, retired December 31, 1945

Ira Clerk

Ira Clerk

Served 1946

Cecil Earl Earhart

Cecil Earl Earhart

Served 1946-1956, retired February 29, 1956

Hermann N. Mangels

Hermann N. Mangels

Served 1956-1961, retired February 28, 1961

Eliot J. Swan

Eliot J. Swan

Served 1961-1972, retired June 1, 1972

John. J. Balles

John. J. Balles

Served 1972-1986, retired February 1, 1986

Robert T. Parry

Robert T. Parry

Served 1986-2004, retired May 16, 2004

Janet L. Yellen

Janet L. Yellen

Served 2004-2010, left October 4, 2010, to serve as Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors

John C. Williams

John C. Williams

2011 - Present