Ex-Obama official named to lead Atlanta Fed


The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta on Monday named Raphael Bostic, an economist, professor and former housing official under President Obama, as its new president.

Bostic, 50, is the first African-American president at one of the dozen Fed regional banks. Since leaving the government in 2012, he has been a professor in public policy at the University of Southern California.

He will take the position during a time of economic transition and political turmoil. Fed leaders, apparently persuaded that the economy has finally healed from the recession, are poised to raise benchmark interest rates again this week.

That strategy — aimed at heading off inflation — would be bolstered if the Trump administration follows through on promises to spend large amounts of money on infrastructure.

Janet Yellen, the current Federal Reserve chair, has been questioned during congressional testimony about the Fed’s historical lack of diversity. Her tenure notwithstanding, Fed leadership has been dominated by white men.

Dennis Lockhart, who resigned as Atlanta Fed president last month, told the Journal-Constitution that he supported an effort to add diversity to the ranks of the Fed.

Bostic will be the 15th president and CEO of the Atlanta Fed, and will take the position on June 5 .

The selection was approved by the Atlanta Fed’s board of directors, as well as by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, D.C.

Tom Fanning, CEO of Southern Co. and chairman of the Atlanta Fed board, in a statement called Bostic “a seasoned and versatile leader, bringing with him a wealth of experience in public policy and academia. Raphael also has significant experience leading complex organizations and managing interdisciplinary teams. He is a perfect bridge between people and policy.”

Rep. David Scott, D-Atlanta, in a statement, called the appointment “historic.” He praised the Fed board and Fed officials for picking Bostic after listening to concerns about the Fed make-up and policy. Scott also thanked Lockhart for making unemployment a high priority in his work at the Fed.

Rep. John Lewis, D-Atlanta,  also praised the selection.

“Atlanta is the cradle of the Civil Rights movement, so it is only fitting that our city be home to the first African-American head of a Federal Reserve Bank,” he said. “While such an appointment is long overdue, I am proud that Atlanta is leading the way.”

Bostic is a graduate of Harvard University with a degree in economics and psychology. He has a doctorate in economics from Stanford.

He was assistant secretary for policy development and research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from 2009 to 2012, a position that required confirmation by the Senate.

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., called Bostic “an outstanding choice.”

“Given the disparate economic experiences faced by key demographic groups, it is crucial that a broader cross-section of groups have a seat at the decision-making table,” said Waters, who is ranking member of the House Committee on Financial Services.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

KPMG and Atlanta auditor pay $6 million-plus to settle SEC charges
KPMG and Atlanta auditor pay $6 million-plus to settle SEC charges

Accounting firm KPMG LLP and one of its Atlanta-based partners agreed to pay more than $6 million in penalties to settle allegations that a flawed audit allowed a Tennessee oil company to defraud investors. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Atlanta office, which investigated the case, said KPMG’s audit failed to catch assets...
Georgia jobless rate ticks down despite weak hiring
Georgia jobless rate ticks down despite weak hiring

The Georgia unemployment rate dipped in July, but so did hiring as the economy continued several months of stop-and-go. After a very strong June, the state’s economy lost 14,500 jobs last month. But the jobless rate, calculated from a different survey, edged down from 4.8 percent to 4.7 percent, the state Labor Department said Thursday. The unemployment...
Trail network pitched for south Atlanta ‘aerotropolis’
Trail network pitched for south Atlanta ‘aerotropolis’

Could the next Beltline be on Atlanta’s southside? That’s the goal of an ambitious greenway concept for the “aerotropolis” area surrounding Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The vision is for a network of trails and bike paths connected across the hodgepodge of cities and counties in south Metro Atlanta — and connected...
Kempner: Twin DeKalb brothers pay (in fresh veggies) to use home lawns
Kempner: Twin DeKalb brothers pay (in fresh veggies) to use home lawns

Ah, front lawns. Symbol of home and nesting. Also, sweat-inducing, time-sucking money pits that make us look bad in front of the neighbors. Which is why you might want to know about Georgia Tech-trained engineers and twin brothers Roger and Reggie Ramos of DeKalb County. They “pay” to use some of homeowners’ front lawns. The soft-spoken...
Trump ends CEO advisory councils as main group acts to disband
Trump ends CEO advisory councils as main group acts to disband

President Donald Trump’s main council of top corporate leaders disbanded on Wednesday following the president’s controversial remarks in which he equated white nationalist hate groups with the protesters opposing them. Soon after, the president announced on Twitter that he would end his executive councils, “rather than putting pressure&rdquo...
More Stories