Who Is Jerome Powell?

Jerome Powell is the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) chair

Jerome H. Powell has been a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB) since May 25, 2012, appointed by then-President Barack Obama to fill an unexpired term. He was reappointed by Obama and sworn in on June 16, 2014, for a term that expires on Jan. 31, 2028.

Powell took office as Fed chair on Feb. 5, 2018, after being nominated for that post by then-President Donald Trump and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. His four-year term as Fed chair expired on Feb. 5, 2022, but he was renominated by President Joe Biden in November 2021 and was sworn in again in May 2022 for his second term.

Key Takeaways

  • Jerome Powell has served on the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) since May 25, 2012.
  • He has been Fed chair since Feb. 5, 2018, and was approved for a second term in May 2022 under President Biden.
  • Powell's term as a member of the FRB runs until Jan. 31, 2028.
  • Powell has an extensive background in economics and financing, working at different organizations and companies in that field, such as The Carlyle Group.

Early Life and Education

Jerome Hayden Powell, nicknamed “Jay,” was born on Feb. 4, 1953, in Washington, D.C. His father was an attorney, and his mother was a mathematician.

Powell received an A.B. in politics from Princeton University in 1975 and earned a law degree (J.D.) from Georgetown University in 1979. While at Georgetown, he was editor-in-chief of the Georgetown Law Journal.

Notable Accomplishments

The U.S. Senate confirmed Powell to his present post as Fed chair on the basis of strong bipartisan votes. On Dec. 5, 2017, the Senate Banking Committee voted 22-1 in his favor, the only dissenting vote coming from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). On Jan. 23, 2018, the full Senate approved his nomination by a vote of 84-13.

Prior to joining the FRB, from 2010 to 2012, Powell was a visiting scholar at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, where he focused on federal and state fiscal issues.

From 1997 through 2005, he was a partner at The Carlyle Group, a leading private equity and asset management firm.

The primary tools for managing monetary policy used by the Fed are reserve requirements, open market operations, the discount rate, and quantitative easing.

From 1990 to 1993, Powell served as an assistant secretary and as undersecretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury under then-President George H.W. Bush, with responsibility for policy on financial institutions, the Treasury debt market, and related areas.

From 1984 to 1990, Powell worked as a lawyer and investment banker in New York City at the firm of Dillon, Read & Co.

In addition to service on corporate boards, 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 Washington, D.C., and Maryland.

Personal

Powell has been married since 1985 and is the father of three children. He is an avid cyclist who sometimes rides his bike to work at the Fed. He is the first Fed chair in more than 40 years who did not hold a Ph.D. in economics. The last was G. William Miller, who was Fed chair under then-President Jimmy Carter from 1978 to 1979, and who held degrees in marine engineering and law.

How Long Is the Fed Chairman Term?

The term for chairman of the Fed is four years. When a term is over, the chair can be renominated by the sitting President and confirmed by the Senate; there is no limit to how many terms an individual can serve as chair of the Fed.

How Much Does the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Make?

The salary of the chairman of the Federal Reserve is $203,500. This is the current salary of the sitting chair of the Fed, Jerome H. Powell.

Who Owns the Federal Reserve?

The Federal Reserve is not owned by anyone or any organization. The Federal Reserve is the central bank of the United States, created in 1913 to manage the country's monetary policy. The Fed is accountable to Congress but operates independently.

The Bottom Line

Jerome Powell was approved for a second four-year term as Fed chair in May 2022, at a time when the U.S. and much of the world are facing financial hardship due to rising inflation. Under his watch, the Fed has increased interest rates to combat rising inflation.

His second term will focus on managing monetary issues that are impacting the U.S., such as the war in Ukraine, economic issues related to coronavirus, global supply chain problems, and rising inflation.

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. Federal Reserve System. “Jerome H. Powell, Chair.”

  2. The White House. “President Biden Nominates Jerome Powell to Serve as Chair of the Federal Reserve, Dr. Lael Brainard to Serve as Vice Chair.”

  3. U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. “Brown Opening Statement at Banking Committee Executive Session on Federal Reserve Nomination.”

  4. U.S. Senate. “Roll Call Vote 115th Congress — 2nd Session.”

  5. U.S. Department of the Treasury. “G. William Miller (1979 – 1981).”

  6. Federal Reserve System. "Structure of the Federal Reserve System."

  7. Federal Reserve System. "FAQs."

  8. Federal Reserve System. "Federal Reserve Act."

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