Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Taps Harvard’s Kaplan as CEO


Harvard University professor Robert Steven Kaplan is set to take over the role of president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas on September 8.

Kaplan has been employed at the university since 2006 both as a professor of management practice and a senior associate dean with the college’s business school.  His experience with the Federal Reserve system comes from serving as a member on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s investors advisory committee on financial markets.

Prior to his employment at Harvard, Kaplan was the Vice Chairman of the Goldman Sachs Group, where he served as the global head of the bank’s investment banking and investment management divisions.  Kaplan was also the global co-head of the company’s investment banking division as well as a member of its management committee, partnership committee, and the Goldman Sachs Pine Street Leadership Program, writes Korri Kezar for The Dallas Business Journal.

He has also worked on the boards of State Street Corp., Harvard Management Company, Heidrick & Struggles International, Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. and the investment advisory committee for Google Inc.

“This is a guy who understands finance, understands business, is a remarkable leader — an inspirational leader,” said former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who worked with Kaplan at Goldman Sachs. The firm’s former chief U.S. economist, William C. Dudley, currently heads the New York Fed.

After he steps into his role at the Dallas Fed, he will continue to serve with Project A.L.S. and the DRK Foundation, as well as Harvard Medical School.

In addition, Kaplan serves on the board of Heidrick & Struggles International Inc.  The firm, based in Chicago, was hired by the Dallas Fed to lead the search for their new president.  Heidrick & Struggles declined to comment on the situation, citing that their search work is confidential.

“The Bank’s search committee considered a broad pool of excellent candidates to ensure we met our goal of finding someone who has a deep understanding of the economy, financial system and monetary policy—yet who also sincerely appreciates the impact decisions made by the Federal Reserve have on people from all walks of life,” said Dallas Fed board chair Renu Khator, chancellor of the University of Houston.

Kaplan will replace Richard Fisher, who was president between April 2005 and March 2015.  The first vice president for the Dallas Fed, Helen Holcomb, has served as interim head since Fisher left in March.

Although he will not be voting on policy until 2017, the new president is joining the Fed only eight days before a meeting which economists expect to be the start of a rise in interest rates by the central bank, writes Jeanna Smialek for Bloomberg Business.

Kaplan graduated from Harvard Business School with a master’s degree in business administration.

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