The Federal Reserve Bank of New York will soon narrow its search for candidates to fill what is considered the Fed's second-most powerful job after having scouted a diverse field, from a local business school dean to a former Fed governor.
New York Fed President William Dudley steps down in mid-2018 and people in contact with the directors leading the search for his successor say they have so far considered several economists, academics, investors, bankers and policymakers.
"They are looking beyond the traditional mold" of an expert in banking, markets or monetary policy, and plan to start trimming a preliminary list of candidates in coming days, said one person in contact with the directors.
The New York Fed president is at the intersection of U.S. monetary policy and financial markets, and is responsible for the policing of Wall Street and the diplomacy with central bank counterparts around the world.
Unlike other top roles with a permanent vote on policy, the New York Fed boss is nominated by the regional bank's board of directors rather than the White House and does not require Congressional approval.
Dudley's successor could play an even greater role guiding the Fed through a historic leadership change in which U.S. President Donald Trump can fill six of the seven seats on the Fed Board of Governors. He has so far named Jerome Powell and Randal Quarles — lawyers, not PhD economists — to top positions in Washington, with Powell replacing Chair Janet Yellen who unlike her predecessors will only serve one term.
Both men support the Republican push for Wall Street deregulation. Yet their relatively limited experience with monetary policy compared with their predecessors has raised questions over the Fed's tightening plans and how it might tackle any severe economic downturn.
By now the New York Fed directors have kept open what an ideal candidate profile should look like, according to people familiar with the search. Two of those people, who declined to be named given the sensitivity of the process, said search firms have contacted among several others Peter Blair Henry, 48, dean of New York University's Stern School of Business, and former Fed governor Kevin Warsh,
Warsh, 47, who was in the running for Fed Chair before Trump picked Powell last month, declined to be considered for the New York job, they said. One of these people said Henry appeared to be the early front-runner.
Henry and a spokeswoman for Warsh at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, where he is a visiting fellow, did not respond to requests for comment.