- Rich Pedroncelli/AP
The Atlanta Federal Reserve announced on Monday that Raphael Bostic will be its new president from June 5.
Bostic, 50, will replace Dennis Lockhart, who retired at the end of February.
Bostic is a professor in the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. He was an assistant secretary in the Department of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama.
He has researched on homeownership and housing finance with a focus on low to moderate-income communities.
“He is a seasoned and versatile leader, bringing with him a wealth of experience in public policy and academia,” said Thomas Fanning, chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, in the statement.
Bostic will become the first African-American president of one of the Fed’s 12 regional banks. Fed Chair Janet Yellen has been questioned several times in Congress on a lack of diversity among the Fed’s top leadership. The search for a new Atlanta Fed president was being watched as a test of Yellen’s said committment to diversity.
The new role will not be Bostic’s first stint at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors; he worked as an economist from 1995 through 2001.
Bostic holds a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University, and earned his undergraduate degree at Harvard University.
Here’s the full announcement:
Raphael W. Bostic will become the 15th president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta effective June 5, 2017, announced Thomas A. Fanning, chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Bostic, age 50, succeeds Dennis Lockhart, who retired from the Atlanta Fed on Feb. 28, 2017. The appointment was jointly approved by eligible directors of the Atlanta Fed’s board of directors, all nonbankers by law, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, D.C.
Bostic is currently the Judith and John Bedrosian Chair in Governance and the Public Enterprise at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California (USC), a position he has held since 2012.
“We are very pleased that Raphael will join the Atlanta Fed as its president and chief executive officer,” said Fanning, who is also chairman, president and chief executive officer of Southern Company. “He is 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.”
From 2009 to 2012, Bostic served as assistant secretary for Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In that Senate-confirmed position, Bostic was a principal adviser to the secretary on policy and research, with the goal of helping the secretary and other principal staff make informed decisions on HUD policies and programs, as well as on budget and legislative proposals.
Bostic arrived at USC in 2001. There, he served as a professor in the School of Policy, Planning and Development. His work spans many fields, including home ownership, housing finance, neighborhood change and the role of institutions in shaping policy effectiveness. He was director of USC’s master of real estate development degree program and was the founding director of the Casden Real Estate Economics Forecast. He served the Lusk Center for Real Estate as the interim associate director from 2007 to 2009 and as the interim director from 2015 to 2016.
Bostic worked at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors from 1995 to 2001, serving as an economist and then a senior economist in the monetary and financial studies section, where his work on the Community Reinvestment Act earned him a special achievement award. While working at the Federal Reserve, he served as special assistant to HUD’s assistant secretary of policy development and research in 1999, and also was a professional lecturer at American University in 1998.
Commenting on his selection, Bostic said, “The Reserve Banks are vital contributors to our nation’s economic and financial success. I’m excited about the opportunity to work with the Bank’s well-respected staff in advancing the excellent reputation this organization has built over many years. In my role as president of the Atlanta Reserve Bank, I also look forward to confronting the challenges the Federal Reserve faces in today’s increasingly global and rapidly changing economy.”
Bostic was born in 1966 and grew up in Delran, New Jersey. A high school valedictorian, he graduated from Harvard University in 1987 with a combined major in economics and psychology-disciplines he believes are intimately interrelated. After a brief stint in the private sector, Bostic earned his doctorate in economics from Stanford University in 1995.
Bostic serves as a board member of Freddie Mac, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and Abode Communities. He is a fellow of the National Association of Public Administration, vice president of the Association of Public Policy and Management, a member of the board of trustees of Enterprise Community Partners, and a research advisory board member of the Reinvestment Fund.
As president of the Atlanta Fed, Bostic will lead one of the 12 regional Reserve Banks that, with the Board of Governors, make up the Federal Reserve System, the nation’s central bank. The Atlanta Fed is responsible for the Sixth Federal Reserve District, which encompasses Alabama, Florida and Georgia and portions of Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. As its key functions, the Atlanta Fed participates in setting national monetary policy, supervises numerous banking organizations and provides a variety of payment services to financial institutions and the U.S. government. Bostic will have overall responsibility for these functions and will represent the Sixth Federal Reserve District at meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee, the policymaking body within the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy for the nation.