President Donald Trump has nominated Chevy Chase resident and Georgetown Prep alumnus Jerome "Jay" Powell to be the next Chairman of the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, the White House announced last week.
The 64-year-old lawyer and investment banker – who has served on the Federal Reserve board since 2012 – is a Washington, D.C. native, having graduated from Georgetown Preparatory School before returning to the area to attend law school at Georgetown University, where he was editor of the Georgetown Law Journal.
Powell “has proven to be a consensus builder for the sound, monetary and financial policy that he so strongly believes in,” Trump said while speaking at a Rose Garden ceremony to unveil the long-awaited announcement. “Based on his record, I am confident that Jay has the wisdom and leadership to guide our economy through any challenges that our great economy may face."
Trump noted that Powell has twice been confirmed by the Senate with strong bipartisan support, and expressed hope that the Senate would quickly do so a third time.
A member of Georgetown Prep’s class of 1971, Powell has significant family ties to the Little Hoyas community, as his father and brother, as well as three of his uncles and three of his cousins also graduated from the North Bethesda-based Jesuit school.
If confirmed by the Senate to replace outgoing Fed chair Janet Yellen, he will join other celebrated Prep alumni who have served at the top echelons of the U.S. government, including Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, former Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), who chaired the Senate Banking Committee, Reps. Laurence Francis Rooney II (R-Fla.) and Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), as well as former Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), who was the longest-ever serving member of the House before his retirement in 2014.
In a statement, Georgetown Prep President Rev. Scott Pilarz applauded Powell’s nomination.
“We are proud to have a son of Georgetown Prep lead our nation's central banking system,” he said. “On behalf of all of us at Georgetown Prep, we congratulate Jerome on his nomination and offer our prayers and best wishes to him and his family."
Powell, who was first nominated to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors by President Barack Obama to fill a vacant seat in 2011, was re-nominated for a full 14-year term of his own in 2014 and was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 67-24.
Before joining the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Powell served in the Treasury Department during the administration of President George H.W. Bush, where he rose to become Undersecretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance. He later worked at a number of investment banks and private equity firms until 2010, when he joined the Bipartisan Policy Center as a visiting scholar.
Powell was a “fantastic colleague” at the BPC, said the Center’s Director of Economic Policy, Shai Akabas, “because his consensus-driven approach meant that he was always eager to hear what others thought before making a decision."
Currently, Powell lives in Chevy Chase Village with his wife, Rockville High School graduate Elissa Leonard. The couple’s three children, ages 30, 28 and 19, all attended Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C.
After Trump introduced him to the reporters assembled in the Rose Garden, Powell took the opportunity to thank his wife “for her love, support and wise counsel."
"Without her, quite honestly, I would not be standing here,” Powell said. “We're thinking today of our three children and of the world they're inheriting."