Community Outreach Meetings Conclude

July 11, 2018

The search committee of the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco is pleased to provide the following update on the presidential search process, including the Search Committee’s stakeholder outreach efforts, what we have learned from these meetings, and where we are in the search process.

The search for a new President for the San Francisco Fed is among the most important responsibilities we have as Board members. We are committed to undertaking the search in an open and transparent way, while respecting the confidentiality of the candidates. In addition, we are determined to cast as wide a net as possible to find the best candidate to represent our vast and diverse District.

The first step in the search process was to send information about the search, together with a link to the dedicated Presidential search page on the Bank’s public website, to over 4,000 labor, business, academic, philanthropic, nonprofit, and community advocacy organizations and to ask for their input on the search process and recommendations of potential candidates. We then undertook a series of in-person and telephonic meetings with internal and external stakeholders to discuss the process and obtain their views on the most important attributes we should be looking for in the next San Francisco Fed President. These meetings were held with San Francisco Fed senior staff, leaders of the bank’s employee resource groups who come from diverse backgrounds and communities, the Boards of the Seattle, Portland, Salt Lake City, and Los Angeles branches, the Bank’s Economic Advisory Council and Community Advisory Council, leaders of regional and national labor organizations, and representatives of community advocacy groups.

The overwhelming consensus among all the stakeholders with whom we met was that the next President of the San Francisco Fed should have strong theoretical and practical knowledge of the economy – including how monetary policy impacts everyday people – and also possess excellent communication skills, with a keen ability to explain complex issues in clear and understandable terms. The groups also all agreed that the ideal candidate should embrace the broad diversity of the Twelfth District and have experience and comfort with regularly engaging stakeholders in a meaningful way. Meeting attendees also recommended that the ideal candidate should:

  • Be an approachable, accessible, and creative leader with a willingness to engage with employees at every level of the organization as well as constituents in a wide range of settings;
  • Have an open, curious, and broad-minded perspective, underpinned by humility and a receptiveness to alternative ideas and approaches;
  • Maintain a firm and independent stance in monitoring and supervising financial institutions;
  • Have a commitment to economic prosperity for the entire District and a solid understanding of the conditions in its lower-income areas and the issues they face such as poverty, the lack of affordable housing, homelessness, gentrification, and displacement;
  • Forge strong relationships with the organizations that serve the disadvantaged communities in the District;
  • Be dedicated to understanding the challenges industries in the District face in creating jobs and finding employees, especially in high-cost areas of the district.

Finally, the representatives of the employee groups in the Bank specifically asked that we find a candidate who is committed to creating a working environment where they can grow and thrive and who will further strengthen structures in the Bank, such as employee resource groups, that underpin the inclusive culture so valued by employees throughout the Bank.

We are grateful for this detailed and thoughtful input, and we amended the job description to reflect key feedback. Updates include:

  • Highlighting more explicitly that, as Chief Executive Officer of the San Francisco Fed, the President must be committed to:
    • creating an environment where employees can grow and thrive;
    • maintaining a solid understanding of economic conditions in the District; and
    • understanding the challenges facing industries and issues confronting lower income areas.
  • Expanding Key Selection Criteria to emphasize the need for the President to:
    • be capable of making critical, difficult, and timely decisions, executing them, and following through to completion;
    • communicate effectively across diverse constituencies and in a non-complicated way;
    • have an approachable, accessible and creative leadership style; and
    • have a broad inquisitiveness and intellectual curiosity underpinned by humility.