June 26, 2018 / 4:21 PM / 9 months ago

San Francisco Fed aims to pick new chief by fall

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank is aiming to have a list of 10 candidates for its new president by the end of summer and a pick in place by fall, the search committee’s chair told community activists in a private meeting on Monday.

A San Francisco Fed spokesman confirmed the timeline to Reuters.

The meeting was one of several the bank’s search committee has undertaken “to gather important feedback and provide the greatest level of transparency possible into the search process,” spokesman Kevin Sajdak said. There have also been meetings with employees and labor groups, he said.

The bank’s previous president, John Williams, was picked in April to lead the New York Fed in a process that was criticized as opaque and dominated by insiders by some of the same activists that met with the search committee on Monday.

“We hope the committee will commit to a continued collaborative process, and that the candidate chosen reflects the diversity of the district, brings a unique perspective and background, and has a strong commitment to achieving true full employment,” Jordan Haedtler, campaign manager for the Fed Up coalition, one of the groups at Monday’s meeting.

Until a new San Francisco Fed president is in place, Kansas City Fed chief Esther George will get the bank’s vote this year on the Fed’s monetary policy committee.

Haedtler said his group gave the San Francisco Fed a list of six possible candidates, three of whom are Latino. He said he asked whether concern over George’s hawkish views might prompt the search committee to pass over such external candidates and quickly settle on someone within the bank so as to fill the position to regain the vote as soon as possible.

Haedtler said he was assured there would be no such impact, an account confirmed by Sajdak.

(This story corrects spelling of San Francisco Fed spokesman’s name in last paragraph.)

Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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