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Fed Chief: Jerome H. Powell

Jerome H. Powell is an American attorney and investment banker who has served as the 16th chair of the Federal Reserve since February 2018. He was reappointed for a second four-year term on May 23, 2022.

Powell has a diverse professional background, having worked in investment banking, law, and government. Before his role as Fed chair, he served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System since May 25, 2012, and held various positions in the U.S. Department of the Treasury under President George H.W. Bush.

Powell’s reappointment as Fed chair reflects strong bipartisan support and his centrist approach to the Fed’s internal debates. Powell was born in Washington, D.C. He received a bachelor’s degree in politics from Princeton University in 1975 and earned a law degree from Georgetown University, where he was editor-in-chief of the Georgetown Law Journal. Powell has served on the boards of charitable and educational institutions, including the Bendheim Center for Finance at Princeton University and the Nature Conservancy of D.C., and Maryland.

Powell’s unconventional career path, which took him from corporate law to Wall Street deal making to public service, has prepared him for the current crisis. He has been praised for his crisp decision-making skills and his ability to push an often cautious Fed. Powell has faced opposition from some progressive Democrats, who have faulted him for not using the Fed’s tools to help combat climate change and for voting to loosen bank regulations. Despite this, President Biden renominated Powell for another four-year term as Fed chair, which was confirmed by the full U.S. Senate on May 12, 2022 in an 80-19 vote.

Eva Gardner

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