The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in the US has named Raphael W. Bostic as its new President and CEO. He replaces Dennis P. Lockhart, who announced his retirement in February.
There have been over 100 presidents of the Fed’s 12 regional banks over the last 100 years, but Bostic, aged 50, becomes the first African American to take the position – and the first openly gay man.
His appointment has been welcomed by business diversity advocates.
Bostic has held a prominent Professorship at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California (USC) since 2012, and was previously a former housing policy official in the Obama administration.
He will take up his new position from 5 June.
In a statement, Thomas Fanning, chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta described Bostic as, ‘A seasoned and versatile leader, bringing with him a wealth of experience in public policy and academia.’
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.’
‘I look forward to this being a steppingstone for many others’
The Federal Reserve Bank has faced criticism in the past for a lack of diversity at its board level.
Addressing this in a video statement released Monday, Bostic said, ‘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.’
Georgia Congressman John Lewis was among others to previously implore Atlanta Fed to boost its diversity and seek out an African American or Latino candidate.
He applauded Bostic’s appointment, saying in a statement, ‘I congratulate Mr Bostic on his historic appointment. Atlanta is the cradle of the Civil Rights movement, so it is only fitting that our city be home to the first African-American head of a Federal Reserve Bank.’
The appointment was also welcomed by LGBTI business advocate Suki Sandhu CEO of OUTstanding and Audeliss.
‘Raphael Bostic’s deserved appointment is amazing news for the LGBT+ and ethnic minority communities. It’s more important than ever to celebrate leaders who prove sexuality and race need not be a barrier to success,’ according to GSN.