Kansas City Fed President Esther George to retire, creating second 2023 opening

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Esther George will retire in January, creating a second leadership opening among the 12 regional Fed banks in 2023.

George is stepping down as required by mandatory retirement rules for Reserve Bank presidents, the Kansas City Fed said in a statement Wednesday. She’s led the bank since October 2011.

Esther George Photographer: Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg

Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg

Her departure will come around the same time that Chicago Fed chief Charles Evans steps down. Both will have turned 65. The two openings continue a period of higher-than-usual turnover among Fed presidents, at a time when the 12 regional banks are under pressure to improve diversity at their highest ranks. 

The Boston Fed has named the economist Susan Collins to become its next leader, starting in July, and the Dallas Fed recently announced Lorie Logan, a long-serving senior officer at the New York Fed, will be its new chief. She takes office in August.

The Kansas City Fed said a five-member search committee has been formed and has “launched a nationwide search to identify a broad, diverse and highly qualified pool of candidates” to replace George.

A 2022 voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee, George has been considered a hawk supportive of higher rates to counter inflation during much of her tenure, though in the past year her moderate tone has put her near the center of policymakers.

Since becoming the leader of the Kansas City Fed, the former bank regulator has frequently expressed worry that excessive central bank stimulus may be creating financial imbalances or could raise inflation expectations.

The Kansas City Fed district includes seven states: western Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming and northern New Mexico. 

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