(US GOVERNMENT) one of two governing boards of the US Federal Reserve System
(the Usonian Central Bank
). The FRB consists of seven governors appointed by the White House to staggered terms of 14 years.
Governor appointments are subject to Senate confirmation.
The FRB sets monetary policy. Its seven members also serve on the other governing board of the Fed, the FOMC
. However, the FRB has sole responsibility for discount rates and reserve requirements, and it is also responsible for enforcement of banking regulation.
Despite the fact that the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board has the same power as the other six governors, most people have only heard of Alan Greenspan (1987-2006) or Ben Bernanke (2006-present). About the same time, Susan M. Phillips (1991-1998) held approximately equal power on the Board; so did Roger W. Ferguson, Jr. (1997-2006).
Because governors almost never serve their full terms, there are currently only five governors on the board. The two longest-serving members, Bernanke and Vice Chair Donald Kohn, have only been there since August 2002.