Congratulations goes out to Raphael Bostic, the first black person to achieve the title of Federal Reserve Regional Bank President. This June Bostic will take over as the President of the Federal Reserve of Atlanta. Bostic is a New Jersey native, obtaining his bachelors from Harvard University before earning a doctorate in economics from Stanford University. His list of achievements include serving “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.”
The appointment of Bostic comes at a crucial time in the Federal Reserve when many have urged the organization to reach out to more diverse candidates. Currently, according to Fed data, 82% of employees are white with no indication of future change. Among the critics were Mark Calabria from the Cato Institute, who once wrote that “the Fed has increasingly over time come to look less and less like the rest of America” in terms of background and education. While educationally the pick is not diverse, background, Bostic being the first gay and African American pick is.
The biggest issue and call for diversity revolves around community representation. For those not aware “the Fed’s regional bank presidents vote to determine America’s monetary policy, which has huge implications for everyone in the economy.” The Fed “are also responsible for other extremely important tasks such as determining important bank regulations and directing publicly-funded economic research.” Funding for economic research is important, and with zero diverse representation, research benefiting diverse communities is lacking. Although this is a first step, organizational issues still remain. Hopefully this first step will push people, particularly in the Atlanta area to seize on the opportunity within the Federal Reserve.