Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio and the head of the Senate Banking Committee, pointed out that there had never been a Black woman on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors in Washington, while also referring to reporting from earlier this year that showed a dearth of Black economists at the central bank.
He asked if Mr. Powell believed that the central bank should have a Black woman on its Board of Governors.
“I would strongly agree that we want everyone’s voice heard around the table, and that would of course include Black women,” Mr. Powell said. “We of course have no role in the selection process, but we would certainly welcome it.”
Lisa Cook, a Michigan State University economist, and William Spriggs, chief economist of the labor union AFL-CIO, are often raised as possible candidates for governor positions or leadership roles. Both are Black. Lael Brainard, a white woman who is currently a Fed governor, is frequently raised as a possible replacement for Mr. Powell if he is not renominated, and Sarah Bloom Raskin, a white woman who is a former top Fed and Treasury official, is often suggested as a replacement for Mr. Quarles.
Mr. Powell, as he noted, has no formal role in selecting his future colleagues at the Fed Board.
He and his colleagues at the Fed Board will, however, have a chance to weigh in on who will take over two newly open positions around the Fed’s decision-making table. The central bank has 19 total officials at full strength, seven governors and 12 regional bank presidents.
Robert S. Kaplan, the Dallas Fed president, and Eric S. Rosengren, the Boston Fed president, both announced their imminent retirements on Monday, amid widespread criticism of the fact that they were trading securities in 2020 — during a year in which the Fed unrolled a widespread market rescue in response to the pandemic.
Mr. Powell addressed that scandal on Tuesday, pledging to lawmakers that the Fed would change its ethics rules and saying that the Fed was looking into the trading activity to make sure it was in compliance with those rules and with the law.