Black Experience

Lawmakers Laud Fed’s 1st Black Reserve Bank President

U.S. Reps. John Conyers Jr., Maxine Waters and David Scott, along with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, lauded Monday the appointment of Raphael Bostic as president of the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank.

Bostic, who worked in the Obama administration as a former housing policy official, will become the first African-American to head one of the Fed’s 12 regional reserve banks in the Fed’s 104-year history.

“The selection of Raphael Bostic to lead the Atlanta Reserve is a historic step on the long road to equality and justice for people of color in the United States,” said Conyers (D-Mich.), ranking member on the Judiciary Committee. “I am pleased that Federal Reserve officials have taken this important step to fulfill Congress’s call to diversify their leadership, both in terms of race and occupational background. Not only is he the first African-American regional bank president, but he is also a champion for families struggling in today’s economy, and does not come from the corporate background that is already overrepresented at the Fed. I greatly look forward to working with President Bostic to ensure that progress towards the full employment vision, laid out by Dr. King and Coretta Scott King, is fulfilled for all of America’s people.”

Waters (D-Calif.), ranking member of the House Committee on Financial Services, said Bostic is “an outstanding choice.”

“His wealth of experience and research on wealth disparities and barriers to economic opportunity will play a critical role in shaping the economic policy decisions that affect all American families,” she said. “Given the disparate economic experiences faced by key demographic groups, it is crucial that a broader cross-section of groups have a seat at the decision-making table. I congratulate Mr. Bostic on his appointment and encourage the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, working with the Board of Governors, to build on today’s announcement by conducting the genuine and intentional efforts needed to build diversity at the Fed and ensure its senior leaders reflect the interests of America as a whole.”

Scott, a Georgia Democrat, said he “could not be more thrilled” about the appointment.

“This marks a historic event for our Federal Reserve System,” he said. “In over 100 years of its existence, never has there once been an African-American as a regional president. That all ends today.”

Warren (D-Mass.) called Bostic “an excellent choice to head the Atlanta Fed.”

“He has extensive experience researching how economic policy affects working families,” she said. “I am glad to see Raphael’s appointment, and I encourage the Fed to further strengthen its leadership by bringing on additional people with diverse backgrounds to serve in key roles.”

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