Frequently Asked Questions About the Search for a New SF Fed President

Questions related to the role of the president

What is the role of a Federal Reserve Bank president?

The president of a Reserve Bank is the chief executive officer of the bank. She/he is responsible for establishing the organization’s direction and achieving its short-and long-term objectives. Importantly, the president sits on the Federal Reserve’s chief monetary policymaking body, the Federal Open Market Committee. The president also represents the institution before its core external constituencies: business and community leaders, educators, government officials, bankers, members of the news media and the public at large.

Who will lead the San Francisco Fed after John Williams leaves in June?

In accordance with the Federal Reserve Act, the San Francisco Fed’s First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Mark Gould, will assume the duties of the president on an interim basis after Mr. Williams leaves the bank on June 18.

Mr. Gould will represent the bank at the Federal Open Market Committee and ensure that all of the vital functions and responsibilities of the San Francisco Fed continue to be carried out until a new bank president is appointed.

What is the term length of the next San Francisco Fed president?

The exact term length will depend on when the new president formally takes office. Under section 4 of the Federal Reserve Act, all Reserve Bank presidents serve five-year terms that expire at the end of February in years ending in 1 or 6. In this particular case, the incumbent would likely fulfill President Williams’ term until February’s end in 2021. Before the expiry date, however, the Class B and Class C directors vote on whether to reappoint the president to a new term. Reserve Bank presidents are subject to mandatory retirement at 65 years of age. Presidents initially appointed after 55 can, at the option of the bank’s board of directors, be permitted to serve until attaining 10 years of service in the office or age 75, whichever comes first.

What is the timeline for selecting the next president?

There is no specific deadline for finding a new bank president, although historically similar searches have ranged from six to nine months. The search committee will continue fielding, vetting and interviewing candidates until it has decided it has found the best candidate for the job.

Questions related to the search process

Who is on the search committee?

Alex Mehran (search committee chair)
Mr. Mehran is chairman and CEO of Sunset Development Company, located in San Ramon, CA. He is the former chairman of the board of directors of The Bay Area Council, and a current member of its executive committee. Mr. Mehran graduated with honors from Harvard College, and holds an LLB with honors from Cambridge University. Mr. Mehran has been chair of the San Francisco Fed’s head office board of directors since January 2017.

Tamara Lundgren
Ms. Lundgren is president, CEO and director of Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc., Portland, OR, a position she has held since 2008. Prior to joining the company in 2005, Ms. Lundgren was a managing director in investment banking at JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank in New York and London, respectively. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College, and a J.D. from the Northwestern University School of Law. Ms. Lundgren previously served as chair of the San Francisco Fed’s Portland branch board of directors.

Barry Meyer
Mr. Meyer is the retired chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Entertainment, and founder and chairman of North Ten Mile Associates, a strategic consultancy firm specializing in entertainment industry clients and issues. He retired from Warner Bros. in 2013, following a 43-year career at the studio that included 14 years as its chairman and CEO. Mr. Meyer holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester, and a J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Mr. Meyer currently serves as deputy chair of the San Francisco Fed’s head office board of directors.

Rosemary Turner
Ms. Turner serves as president of UPS Northern California. In her current role she ensures that UPS provides the logistical capabilities to support new business in Northern and Central California, as well as Northern Nevada. Ms. Turner holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. She joined the San Francisco Fed’s head office board in January 2017. Prior to this, Ms. Turner served on the Bank’s Economic Advisory Council (EAC). She also served as a member of the Philadelphia Fed’s board of directors from 2013 – 2014.

What are the differences between the Class A, B, and C directors?

Under Section 4 of the Federal Reserve Act, each Federal Reserve Bank operates pursuant to the supervision of a board of directors, in addition to the general supervision of the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C. The San Francisco Fed’s board of directors has nine members on its head office board, all chosen from outside the Reserve Bank, who are divided into three equal classes-designated A, B and C. Additionally, each of the bank’s four branches has seven members. Of these seven, four members are chosen by the head office board and three are chosen by the Board of Governors.

The Class A and Class B directors are elected by the member commercial banks of the 12th District. The Class C directors are appointed by the Board of Governors. Each year, one Class C director at each Reserve Bank is designated by the Board of Governors as chair of the bank’s board of directors, and a second Class C director is designated deputy chair.

Class A directors are required to be representative of the member banks in the District. Class B and Class C directors, meanwhile, are required to represent the public “with due but not exclusive consideration to the interests of agriculture, commerce, industry, services, labor and consumers.” Neither Class B nor Class C directors may be officers, directors or employees of any private sector bank or bank holding company. In addition, Class C directors may not own shares in any bank or bank holding company.

What role do the San Francisco Fed’s Class A directors have in selecting the next president?

The San Francisco Fed’s Class A directors, like those at all other Reserve Banks, are expressly excluded from the appointment of Reserve Bank presidents due to concerns about potential conflicts of interest that could arise from bankers participating in the selection of the leadership of their federal bank supervisor.

Class A directors may provide input to members of the search committee in the same manner as the general public.

How is the San Francisco Fed president selected?

The responsibility for appointing a new president is held by the Class B and Class C members of the San Francisco Fed’s board of directors. Only Class B and C directors unaffiliated with regulated banks or financial institutions can participate in the appointment process.

Four of those eligible directors have formed a committee, and will work with an executive search firm, Diversified Search, to conduct an extensive search to identify a diverse pool of qualified candidates for the bank’s next president and CEO. The committee will consider candidates from a wide range of industries and backgrounds, including candidates both within and outside the Federal Reserve System, who meet the position’s qualifications.

The bank’s Class B and Class C directors then formally appoint a candidate, subject to the approval of the Board of Governors.

What is the ideal experience the search committee is looking for in a new president?

For more information on the requirements of the position and how to apply, please see the job description.

What process will the search committee follow in selecting the new president?

The search committee’s primary objective is to identify and appoint the best individual to lead the San Francisco Fed from a deep pool of qualified candidates. In order to accomplish this objective, the search committee will:

  • work with Diversified Search, one of the nation’s leading executive search firms, to develop a diverse slate of qualified candidates who meet the position’s job requirements.

  • solicit input regarding the key attributes that are important in the ideal presidential candidate from a wide range of stakeholders across the San Francisco Fed’s district and beyond.
  • provide periodic updates to internal and external stakeholders on progress it is making against key milestones throughout the search; and,
  • recommend to the San Francisco Fed’s full board of directors (excluding the Class A directors) one or more candidates for consideration for appointment as president and CEO, subject to approval by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

Who is the search firm?

The search committee has retained Diversified Search to help it conduct its search for the next president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Diversified Search is the largest female-owned and founded firm in the executive search industry. It has offices across the U.S. and is part of an international alliance of independent executive search firms that spans 36 countries across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific.

How can I submit feedback on the search process or recommend a candidate for consideration for the role of San Francisco Fed president?

Members of the public who would like to submit the names of qualified candidates to Diversified Search for consideration may do so at FRB.SF.President@Divsearch.com.