A Colombian will preside over the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Missouri in the United States, where he will be in charge of 1,500 employees. Alberto Musalem will take office on April 2, following his appointment by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, which represents the Eighth Federal Reserve District in the formulation of national monetary policies in the Federal Open Market Committee.
The new president was born in Bogota 55 years ago and lived in Brazil and Argentina before settling in the U.S., where he graduated from the Maryland public school system. He earned his doctorate in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
He is the first Hispanic to head a regional Federal Reserve Bank. He will replace James Bullard, who announced in July that he was stepping down to become dean of Purdue University’s business school. Musalem has more than 27 years of public and private sector experience in economic policy, finance and markets. In his career, Alberto Musalem held executive positions at Tudor Investment Corp. and the New York Federal Reserve, where he was executive vice president and senior advisor.
Hispanics on the rise in key positions
Members of the U.S. Congress have called for the appointment of more Hispanic policymakers to senior positions at the Federal Reserve. In this regard, Fed Governor Adriana Kugler last year became the first Hispanic to serve on the Washington central bank’s board.
“Alberto will be an outstanding president and CEO of the St. Louis Fed,” said Fed Director Carolyn Chism Hardy, president and CEO of Chism Hardy Investments LLC in Bartlett, Tennessee, and vice chair of the bank’s search committee.
“As a seasoned economist, former Federal Reserve leader, collaborator and communicator, he has the exceptional technical expertise and leadership skills necessary to contribute to effective policymaking and advance a great organization in service to the public. Alberto is a mission-focused leader and I am confident that he will work tirelessly to promote a healthy economy for all by representing the diverse views of constituents throughout the Eighth Federal Reserve District,” Hardy said.
The twelve regional presidents that make up the Federal Reserve System are elected by two-thirds of their local boards of governors, subject to approval by the Fed’s own board. They have voting rights on the central bank’s monetary policy committee on a rotating basis, so the brand new St. Louis regional president will vote in 2025.
Promote “strong, resilient and inclusive economy”
“I am deeply honored to be the next president of the St. Louis FED and grateful for the opportunity to promote a strong, resilient and inclusive economy,” Musalem has said.
As an economist at the International Monetary Fund, he worked with international organization teams and national authorities on monetary policy and inflation targeting frameworks, fiscal responsibility rules, and banking systems during the emerging market crises of the late 1990s.
“I am delighted to lead the outstanding team at the St. Louis FED in our service to the district and the nation as fiscal agent for the U.S. Treasury, supervisor of financial institutions, research engine and innovator. I am eager to get started,” he said.