Berkowitz, Gottlieb, Hooley reflect on Boston Fed board service during critical time
Board of Directors provides pulse on New England economy
As 2018 comes to a close, so do the tenures of three members of the Boston Fed board of directors whose terms have coincided with the years of recovery following the Great Recession.
Dr. Gary Gottlieb, chief executive officer of Partners in Health, Roger Berkowitz, president and chief executive officer of Legal Seafoods, and State Street Corporation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jay Hooley’s board of directors’ terms conclude this month. Their service on the board averages six years each.
“They joined the board at a critical time,” said Boston Fed President and Chief Executive Officer Eric Rosengren. “We were just coming out of the throes of the financial crisis, and the Federal Reserve was doing its level-best to get the economy back on track. These board members’ on-the-ground viewpoints helped us to make recommendations to help guide the regional and national economy.”
Every Federal Reserve Bank is supervised by a board of directors that advises on monetary and credit policy and acts as a direct link to the private sector. Board members represent a range of sectors to ensure a diversity of viewpoints and backgrounds on economic and credit conditions, which helps the Fed anticipate economic trends.
Berkowitz and Gottlieb joined the board in 2012 as “Class B Directors,” which are elected by Federal Reserve member banks to represent the public, specifically those affiliated with agriculture, commerce, industry, services, labor, and consumers.
Hooley began his service as a Federal Reserve Federal Advisory Council representative in 2011. As a banker, he consulted with and advised the Fed Board of Governors for three consecutive one-year appointments on behalf of the First District. Hooley was then elected to the board of directors in 2014 as a “Class A Director” to represent member banks.
Berkowitz said that during a conversation early in his term, former Vice Chairman for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors Stanley Fischer compared the Fed to “guardrails.” The analogy stuck with Berkowitz as a profound way to describe the role of Fed and the Reserve Banks’ boards of directors.
“He said: ‘The economy is like a speeding car on a treacherous track of road, and the Fed acts as guardrails on that road,’ Berkowitz said. ‘Sometimes the road goes up, sometimes it goes down, but the Fed acts as a mechanism to keep the car from going off track.’”
Berkowitz said he’s learned that guiding the economy is a “team effort.” “I became aware of the amount of research and thought that goes into monetary policy decision-making. It was a great education to see that and be able to contribute as a director in a practical sense.”
Hooley said he was impressed with the diversity of expertise on the Boston Fed board and how that contributed to rich conversation about the state of the economy, labor, and inflation.
“I was privileged to serve with a talented group of people that were all coming together to try to share and gain a collective understanding of where the New England economy was and where it was heading, and the appropriate monetary policy actions.”
Gottlieb, who chaired the board for 2017 and 2018, said he was struck by the Reserve Bank’s and board’s commitment to the local community and contributions to national issues.
“The extraordinary dedication to public service, the passionate commitment to try to do great good in a consistent way, and the exceptional depth of skill-level of the people working together around a singular mission are really outstanding principles I saw during my time on the board,” Gottlieb said.
Rosengren said the Boston Fed and Federal Reserve are grateful to Berkowitz, Gottlieb, and Hooley for their years of service on the board. “Their insights, perspectives, and leadership are truly appreciated and will no doubt leave a lasting imprint on this organization for many years to come.”
For more information on the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s board of directors and governance structure, click here.