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 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 President Donald Trump and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. His four-year term as Fed chair expires on Feb. 5, 2022, but President Joe Biden announced on Nov. 22, 2021, that he is renominating Powell—again subject to approval by the Senate.

Key Takeaways

  • Jerome Powell has served on the Federal Reserve Board since May 25, 2012.
  • He has been Fed chair since Feb. 5, 2018.
  • President Biden has renominated Powell for another four-year term as chair.
  • Powell's term as a member of the FRB runs until Jan. 31, 2028.

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 AB in politics from Princeton University in 1975 and earned a law degree (JD) from Georgetown University in 1979. While at Georgetown, he was editor-in-chief of the Georgetown Law Journal.

Notable Accomplishments

Powell was confirmed by the U.S. Senate 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-MA). 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, D.C., 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.

From 1990 to 1993, Powell served as an Assistant Secretary and as Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury under 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 President Jimmy Carter from 1978 to 1979, and who held degrees in marine engineering and law.

The Bottom Line

The decision by President Biden to reappoint Jerome H. Powell for another four-year term as Fed chair is likely to gain widespread bipartisan support, despite some vocal critics on the left wing of the Democratic party.

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. The Federal Reserve System. "Jerome H. Powell, Chair." Accessed Nov. 30, 2021.

  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." Accessed Nov. 30, 2021.

  3. United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. "Brown Opening Statement at Banking Committee Executive Session On Federal Reserve Nomination." Accessed Nov. 30, 2021.

  4. Reuters. "U.S. Senate Panel Backs Jerome Powell for Fed Chief." Accessed Nov. 30, 2021.

  5. United States Senate. "Roll Call Vote 115th Congress - 2nd Session." Accessed Nov. 30, 2021.

  6. U.S. Department of the Treasury. "G. William Miller (1979 - 1981)." Accessed Nov. 30, 2021.