Susan Schmidt Bies, who has been a governor at the Federal Reserve since 2001, said she will resign her position at the end of March, giving President Bush a fresh opportunity to put his stamp on the central bank.
Bies, 59 years old, said she plans to spend more time with her family. She does not plan on attending the next meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee on March 20 and 21, the Fed said.
With her expertise in banking and risk management, she has served on numerous committees at the central bank, including its Committee on Supervisory and Regulatory Affairs, which she headed. Bies has been a centrist on monetary policy and has never dissented in her six years on the Fed Board.
"Sue's invaluable contributions to both monetary and regulatory policy at the Federal Reserve have been aided by her unique perspective as both an economist and a banker," said Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, in a statement.
Bies' resignation will leave two open seats on the normally seven-strong Fed Board, the nucleus for U.S. monetary policy-making. Mark Olson stepped down last June and Bush has yet to nominate anyone to replace him.
She took the job as Fed governor in December 2001, three months after the terror attacks on New York and Washington, with a full term that ends Jan. 31, 2012.
Before coming to the Fed, Bies was executive vice president for risk management and auditor at First Tennessee National, a Memphis-based bank. She also taught economics at Rhodes College and Wayne State University.
Her departure comes amid an unusual amount of turnover at the central bank. The Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank announced a new president on Thursday and the heads of both the
Chicago Fed and Boston Fed have announced they will step down this year.