Williams held the San Francisco Fed job since March 2011, when he succeeded Janet Yellen, who went on to become the first woman to chair the Federal Reserve. Williams’ appointment will be a disappointment to elected leaders and advocacy groups
that demanded either a woman or a person or color take the leadership role at the New York Fed, with Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) publicly decrying the lack of diversity in the leadership ranks of the regional Fed banks.
Nonetheless, the New York Fed expressed satisfaction with their choice.
“After a thorough process, my fellow search committee members and I felt that John best fulfilled the criteria we’d identified as well as the feedback we’d received through our public outreach efforts,” said Sara Horowitz, Chairwoman of the New York Fed’s Board of Directors and Co-Chair of the Search Committee. “John cares deeply and is committed to the dual mandate and has led extensive work on the U.S. labor markets and employment. He has meaningfully engaged with and supported the diverse communities that make up the San Francisco Fed’s district and understands the different economic realities of its vast geographies and demographics, which have extensive parallels to the Second District, including Puerto Rico. And, John has always been willing to speak his mind and encourage the Fed to be forward looking and reflective.”