EPI applauds the appointment of Raphael Bostic as the 15th president and CEO of the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank and the first African American regional bank president since the Federal Reserve System was created in 1913.
Over the last couple years, EPI has worked closely with the Fed Up campaign, a coalition of community-based organizations, unions and non-profit organizations, to raise the issue of diversity within the Fed while also drawing attention to gaping racial disparities in unemployment, wages, income, and wealth, and the role that monetary policy can play in addressing them. Bostic’s own research on economic and racial inequality puts him in a unique position to articulate many of these issues from a perspective that has often been absent from FOMC deliberations. His appointment is not only a testament to his exceptional qualifications as an economist and committed public servant, but is also evidence of the power of Fed Up’s consistent and principled advocacy.
The fact that we are still noting African American “firsts” in 2017 is evidence of why working towards and advocating for racial equity remains relevant and important to addressing persistent inequality. It is our hope that Bostic’s appointment is more than a singular event, but will be one of many steps toward increasing diversity in the leadership of an institution that has such a profound effect on the economic well-being of all Americans.