Beatty Rule Introduced in House and Senate

Bill seeks to increase diversity among Federal Reserve Bank presidents
Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03) recently introduced the Ensuring Diverse Leadership of 2019H.R. 281. The bill ensures that at least one gender diverse candidate and racially or ethnically diverse candidate are interviewed when there is a vacancy among the Federal Reserve Bank presidents. The Ensuring Diverse Leadership Act’s Senate companion bill was introduced by Senator Kamala Harris (CA).

“It is hard to believe that in 2018, in the Federal Reserve’s 105-year history, only one African-American has ever served as a Reserve Bank president and seven women have held the position,” Beatty said. “To build a stronger economy, we need the talents, skills and expertise that diversity offers—and the Ensuring Diverse Leadership Act will do just that. I am proud to lead the charge in the House on this all-too important bill and am honored to have Senator Harris spearhead the companion piece of legislation in the U.S. Senate.”   

“Bringing greater diversity to the Federal Reserve will ensure that more perspectives are heard as major decisions are being made about our nation’s economic future and will produce better outcomes for the American people,” Senator Harris said. “We must do more to ensure that this country’s leadership reflects the people they serve—not just at the Federal Reserve, but across all levels of government.”

H.R. 281 is modeled after the National Football League’s (NFL) “Rooney Rule,” which was instituted in 2003 to increase diversity among top positions in the League. Under the Rooney Rule, at least one minority must be considered for any head coach and general manager vacancy. In the 12 years before the Rule went into effect, the NFL had only six non-white head coaches; under the Rule the League has since had 18 total head coaches of color.

Established in 1913, the Federal Reserve has had more than 130 different presidents of Regional Banks. Of those presidents, Atlanta Federal Reserve President Raphael Bostic is the first and only African-American to serve in that capacity. Moreover, eight of the twelve Federal Reserve Banks have never had a woman president, with the first woman not serving in the role until 1982.

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