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USC professor named first Black Federal Reserve Bank president

OW Staff Writer | 3/16/2017, midnight

Raphael Bostic, a professor at the USC School of Public Policy, was named Monday president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, making him the first Black leader of a regional federal bank.

“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 for the Atlanta bank. Bostic also has significant experience leading complex organizations and managing interdisciplinary teams. He is a perfect bridge between people and policy.”

Bostic served as assistant secretary for Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from 2009-12. He joined USC in 2001 and was the founding director of the Casden Real Estate Economics Forecast. He also served as the interim associate director and interim director of the Lusk Center for Real Estate.

He was an economist with the Federal Reserve Board of Governors from 1995-2001 and was an assistant to the HUD assistant secretary of policy development and research.

Bostic’s appointment to the federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta shattered a 104-year-old racial barrier by being named the new president.

Bostic, an economist and a former housing policy official in the Obama administration, will become the first African American to lead any of the Fed’s 12 regional reserve banks, and just the fourth to serve on its policy-making committee, which raises and lowers interest rates.

The Fed has come under mounting pressure from congressional Democrats and liberal groups to increase the diversity of its leadership—particularly at the regional banks.

“This could have happened a long time ago, but we’re happy that it happened now, and I look forward to this being a steppingstone for many others to have this opportunity as well,” Bostic said in a videotaped statement released Monday by the Atlanta Fed.

“The Reserve Banks are vital contributors to our nation’s economic and financial success,” Bostic said. “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.”

A New Jersey native and Harvard graduate, Bostic has a doctorate in economics from Stanford University. He is also a board member of Freddie Mac, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and Adobe Communities.