Dennis Lockhart Stepping Down as Atlanta Fed President

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There is about to be a passing of the torch inside the Federal Reserve. Atlanta Fed president and chief executive officer Dennis Lockhart has now announced his intention to step down from his position at the Fed. The resignation will not be immediate as it will be effective February 28, 2017.

Lockhart has put in nearly 10 years at the Atlanta Fed. He became president in 2007 and has been credited with the GDPNow reading that is used as a forecasting model. The official press release was not specific, but noted that he will pursue interests in public policy, as well as civic work and private business.

The Atlanta Fed’s chairman will lead a search committee comprised of non-banking members of the Atlanta Fed’s board of directors to conduct a nationwide search to replace Lockhart as president of the Atlanta Reserve Bank.

One issue that was specifically included in the release was that the search would be seeking a diverse slate of candidates, perhaps in response to calls for a lack of diversity within the Federal Reserve. Also noted was that the Atlanta Fed has retained executive search firm Spencer Stuart to assist in this important effort.

It may matter to some investors and economists here that Lockhart was most recently among the members of the Fed who said that a serious discussion about rate hikes would be appropriate in September.

Lockhart’s official statement said:

It has been an enormous privilege to serve as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. The Atlanta Fed is an outstanding organization, and its employees are steadfastly dedicated to helping ensure the health and stability of our nation’s economy and financial system. I am proud of the work we have accomplished together, and I believe the Bank is well positioned for the future.

While no formal replacement has even been contacted and while no formal successor timeline is available, the official press release said:

There is no set timetable for naming a new president. Should a successor not be appointed by February 28, 2017, the Bank’s first vice president and chief operating officer, Marie Gooding, will assume the duties of president on an interim basis until a new president is appointed, in accordance with Section 4 of the Federal Reserve Act.