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Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

Representing the 3rd District of Ohio

Beatty Bill Encourages Greater Diversity at Federal Reserve

Jan 18, 2017
Press Release

Beatty Bill Encourages Greater Diversity at Federal Reserve

In Fed’s 104-year history, no African-American or Latino has ever served as Federal Reserve Regional Bank president

WASHINGTON, DC –U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03) recently reintroduced the Ensuring Diverse Leadership Act of 2017H.R. 485. The bill ensures that at least one gender diverse candidate and racially or ethnically diverse candidate are interviewed when there is a vacancy among the Federal Reserve Regional Bank presidents. First introduced by Beatty in 2016, the Ensuring Diverse Leadership Act is cosponsored by Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters (CA-42), Dean of the House of Representatives Congressman John Conyers (MI-13), Congressman David Scott (GA-13) and Congressman Keith Ellison (MN-05).

“The leadership at the Federal Reserve must be more reflective of our nation. It is unconscionable that no African-American or Latino has ever served as president of a Federal Reserve Regional Bank. It is equally as troubling that only six women have ever served as a Federal Reserve Regional Bank president in the Fed’s 104-year history,” Beatty said. “To build a stronger economy, we need the talents, skills and expertise that diversity offers—and the ‘Beatty Rule’ will do just that.” Beatty continued, “The bill’s introduction could not come at a more perfect time, as both President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Dennis Lockhart and President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond Jeffrey Lacker recently announced their retirements.”

H.R. 485 is modeled after the National Football League’s (NFL) “Rooney Rule,” which was instituted in 2003 to increase diversity among top positions in the League. Under the Rooney Rule, at least one minority must be considered for any head coach and general manager vacancy. In the 12 years before the Rule went into effect, the NFL had only six non-white head coaches; under the Rule the League has since added 14 head coaches of color.

Established in 1913, the Federal Reserve has had 134 different presidents of Regional Banks. Of those 134 presidents, not one has been African-American or Latino, with the first non-white president not occurring until 2009. Currently, eight of the twelve Federal Reserve Regional Banks have never had a woman president, with the first woman not serving in the role until 1982.

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