By Michael S. Derby
NEW YORK (Reuters) -The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis on Monday said it has formally launched a search for a new leader to replace James Bullard, the longest-serving central bank official and a closely watched voice on monetary and economic policy.
Bullard unexpectedly announced his resignation in July. He officially left on Aug. 14 to become a business school dean at Purdue University.
Jim McKelvey, who is the chairman of the St. Louis Fed Board of Directors and leader of the search committee, said in a press release the effort to find a replacement for Bullard “will be robust, transparent, fair and inclusive”.
The bank said Spencer Stuart, an executive search firm, will look for a new leaderin a process overseen by the bank’s board members, who do not hail from financial firms regulated by the Fed.
The Fed has 12 regional bank arms that are quasi-private entities and operate under the oversight of the board of governors in Washington. Each bank is also overseen by boards of directors who hail from the private sector.
Regional Fed bank presidents help to set central bank interest rate policy and gather economic and financial information in their respective districts, while also helping to regulate local banks.
Regional Fed banks have faced pressure in recent years to include more diversity in their leadership ranks.