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Paxson selected to chair Boston Federal Reserve board of directors

Responsibilities as chair include overseeing bank’s activities, shaping priorities

University President Christina Paxson P’19 was selected to serve as the chair of the Boston Federal Reserve Bank’s board of directors, the Federal Reserve Board announced Dec. 23. Her position began Jan. 1. 

Paxson, an expert on economics and public policy, has served on the Boston Fed’s board of directors since 2016, The Herald previously reported. She began her previous tenure as deputy chair in 2019. Paxson was chosen for the chair position by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

“It is an honor to serve on the board, especially during such a difficult time for the economy,” Paxson wrote in an email to The Herald. “The work of the Federal Reserve is now more important than ever.”

As chair, Paxson is responsible for overseeing the bank’s activities and working with Rosengren to shape his priorities for the bank, according to the press release. The Boston Fed has a wide range of responsibilities and initiatives that the board oversees, including conducting economic research, assisting in monetary policymaking and supporting economic well-being in local communities. 

“The Boston Federal Reserve Bank, in particular, has played a key role in helping to strengthen businesses — and, by extension, supporting employment — during the pandemic, as well as supporting local communities through the Working Cities program,” Paxson wrote. “Personally, as an economist, I value the opportunity to learn from and give feedback on the great research taking place at the Boston Fed.”

Paxson’s responsibilities in her new role include running monthly meetings to “discuss local business conditions, provide high-level oversight to the operations and finances of the Boston Federal Reserve Bank and participate in discussions about national monetary policy,” she wrote. 

As chair, Paxson will attend a biannual conference with the chairs of other branches of the national Federal Reserve System. She will also oversee annual assessments of the Boston Fed’s leadership team. 

“There is somewhat more responsibility” as chair, Paxson wrote. “However, the deputy chair is involved in nearly everything that the chair does, making the transition from deputy chair to chair seamless.”

Since the Fed’s board of directors operates similarly to the boards of nonprofit organizations, Paxson will be able to utilize her previous experience working on nonprofit boards. “Any large organization benefits from good governance practices,” she wrote. 

Paxson is one of three Class C members on the board, who are appointed by the Board of Governors to represent the public, according to the Boston Fed website. They are chosen “with consideration of agriculture, commerce, industry, services, labor and consumers.”

The chair and deputy chair are always chosen from Class C board members. Class A members represent banks while Class B members are chosen by member banks to represent the public.

“I especially appreciate the ability to work with Eric Rosengren, the President of the Boston Federal Reserve Bank,” Paxson wrote, “and his team, who have done extraordinary work during the pandemic.”

Correction: A previous version of the article stated that Paxson was chosen for the chair position by Eric Rosengren. In fact, she was appointed by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. The Herald regrets the error.


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