Meet the Presidential Search Committee
Selection of a new bank president and CEO is among the most important responsibilities that any Reserve Bank’s board of directors must undertake. Hear directly from the San Francisco Fed search committee members about the unique characteristics of the Twelfth District, the rich diversity of the people and industries that make up the district, and the professional skills, experience and leadership qualities they believe are most important to find in the next bank president.
The presidency of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank is one of the most important financial positions in the country. It’s important for really three main reasons: the size of our bank, the responsibilities of the bank, and the scope of what we do. Insofar as the size is concerned, let’s remember that the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco is the largest district by size, by GDP, by population, and by income.
It represents 20% of the US population. It represents 22% of our manufactured exports for the entire country. This is a leadership role that requires a unique individual.
It’s hard to imagine another district that has one of the largest agricultural outputs in the country sitting right alongside, by far, the headquarters of all of the major worldwide global tech companies, all in the same place. So it’s both from agricultural, to entertainment, to technology, it’s extremely diverse economically.
The skill level that we’re looking for is obvious advanced economic knowledge that equates to that of business, industries, understanding that our population, the 12th District is the largest, and so we realize the importance of the business knowledge and acumen that is so necessary to fill this position.
Insofar as our responsibilities are concerned, the person who is the president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank is responsible for being the spokesperson, the financial spokesperson, for the district. Let’s remember that the 12th District is responsible for the cash operations of the Federal Reserve system. We have $1.5 trillion worth of cash that’s in circulation throughout the world that this brach is responsible for.
We need a broad-minded thinker. We need someone who is obviously of the highest integrity, who can represent and conduct monetary policy at the highest levels, but who also is a practical thinker who has had real world experience, so that he or she can understand the challenges in the district, as well as it’s very obvious strengths.
This role, as CEO of the 12th District, is really much more than just in name only, and having that institutional knowledge. We’re looking for someone that is totally committed to public service, someone that can speak across industries, much more than just financial, albeit that that is the prevalence of this job, but we need to know that public service, commitment to diversity, and not just diversity but inclusion, as we are earmarked as one of the most diverse districts across all of the Feds.
I think it’s important for us to be as open as we can in the search for who that leader is, to be transparent, to take input from people in the district who do have a stake in what’s going to listen to them, and to take their views into account.
Transparency in this effort is probably one of the critical points that the search committee is most focused on. We feel a responsibility to the Federal Reserve but to our communities that we live in. We know that there are deep demands on how this individual will not only be the voice of the Federal Reserve, but also of the public, of the community, of the non-profits, and we pride ourselves on hearing those voices, when you look at number one, the variety and diversity of our boards coming from numerous industries, and the same will apply that we will look for that in our new CEO.
In the process of this search, of any of the presidential searches for the 12 Reserve Banks, the process is highly prescribed. Having said that, the board of directors in general and the search committee in specific is committed to an open process. We want to find the best candidate for this job. To do that, we need to cast as wide a net as we possibly can, to capture as many individuals as we possibly can, to evaluate them on an ongoing basis. If we don’t cast a wide net, we’re not going to get the best candidate to take this job, so we’re committed to do that. As we are proceeding forward, we will have a website that will be updated frequently. People will be able to communicate through that website, and we as members of the search committee will be outreaching to individuals and groups to find out what their point of view is, not only with respect to individuals, but also characteristics that people feel are important for this job.