(Reuters) - Christina Romer's resignation as head of
the White House Council of Economic Advisers has revived
speculation that her next job could be as president of the
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
Janet Yellen, who has run the San Francisco Fed since 2004,
has been nominated to be vice chairman of the Federal Reserve
Board, and the U.S. Senate is expected to act on the nomination
when lawmakers return to Washington from their summer break.
Romer, who will step down on Sept. 3 to return to her job
as a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, has
been mentioned for months as a candidate to replace Yellen.
"I certainly would be honored to be considered for the
job," Romer told Reuters Insider on Friday. "I think it's
important to realize that's not something that I can control or
that anyone at the White House has any influence on. So we're
just going to have to see what develops."
How does the search process work, and who might end up with
A committee of board members led by the San Francisco Fed's
chairman, retired Levi Strauss & Co Chairman T. Gary Rogers, is
heading the search, with the help of a search firm.
The committee will sift through candidates, interview
several, and send dossiers of its two or three of its top
choices to the Washington-based Federal Reserve Board,
participants in several recent Fed searches said. The Board
will sign off on the final pick.
The initial pool is likely to include dozens of people,
according to participants in past searches for Fed bank chiefs.
Possible picks include:
* Romer, who this fall is heading back to her job as an
economics professor at the University of California at
Berkeley, across the San Francisco Bay from the bank's
* John Williams, the San Francisco Fed's research director
and a former senior economist at the Fed Board of Governors,
whose recent research focuses on assessing tools for monetary
* Laura Tyson, a professor at UC Berkeley's Hass School of
Business and a former head of the White House Council of
* Glenn Rudebusch, senior vice president and associate
director of research at the San Francisco Fed who recently
wrote that it will be a "significant period of time" before the
Fed begins raising rates.
Most regional Fed boards pick chiefs who know the Fed from
the inside. More than half of the 12 current regional Fed bank
presidents worked under the bosses they succeeded, and only two
-- the Atlanta Fed's Dennis Lockhart and the Dallas Fed's
Richard Fisher -- had nothing to do with the Fed before they
took the job.
Still, participants in recent searches said committees cast
a wide net and look beyond Fed insiders.
The Dodd-Frank Act changes how regional Fed presidents are
picked, eliminating bankers on the nine-member regional Fed
board from participating in the search. The change is designed
to reduce any conflict of interest by bankers picking the
person who will run their regulator.
Yellen's successor will be the first Fed president picked
under the new rules, but analysts say they will have little
effect on the search.
The searches typically take months. If Yellen is confirmed
and moves to Washington before the process is completed, the
bank's first vice president, John Moore, will represent the San
Francisco Fed at the U.S. central bank's policy-setting
meetings until a new president is in place.
(Reporting by Ann Saphir; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)