Feb 9, 2022 - Economy

Economist Susan Collins becomes first Black woman to lead a Fed bank

Susan M. Collins, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Susan M. Collins, incoming president of the Boston Fed. Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Susan Collins, an economist and university administrator, will be the new president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, part of a wave of new leadership at the central bank.

The big picture: Collins adds to diversity in the Fed's leadership. She will be only the second Black president and first Black woman to head one of the 12 Fed banks in the century-plus history of the institution.

Why it matters: Collins will have a vote on monetary policy in the second half of the year on the powerful Federal Open Market Committee, which is likely to be in the midst of raising interest rates by the time she takes office.

  • Collins has not been vocal in recent months about her preferences for monetary policy, but is well-known to Fed officials and a regular participant in an annual Kansas City Fed conference in Jackson Hole.

Collins, currently the provost of the University of Michigan, takes the helm of the Boston Fed at a time when five of seven Fed governor positions are up for Senate confirmation and the Dallas Fed presidency remains vacant.

  • Her ties to the Boston area include time studying for her PhD at MIT and as an economics professor at Harvard. She is expected to take office July 1.
  • She is of no relation to the Maine senator with the same first and last names and middle initial.

The position became vacant when former Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren retired early amid a scandal over Fed officials trading securities during the pandemic.

Go deeper