Office of the President
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.
Dr. Williams’ research focuses on topics including: monetary policy under uncertainty; innovation; productivity, and business cycles. He has collaborated with economists from throughout the country and across the globe to examine economic and policy issues from different perspectives, and has published numerous articles in leading research journals.
Dr. Williams 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.
Prior to completing his doctorate at Stanford, he earned a Master’s of Science with distinction in economics from the London School of Economics in 1989, and an A.B. with high distinction from the University of California at Berkeley in 1984.
Dr. Williams, 53, is a native of Sacramento, California. He is married with two sons and resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Updated July 2015
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.