Jerome Powell Biography

(Attorney, Investment Banker and 16th Chair of the Federal Reserve)

Birthday: February 4, 1953 (Aquarius)

Born In: Washington, D.C., United States

Jerome Powell is an American former lawyer and former investment banker, who has been serving as the 16th chair of the 'Federal Reserve System' since February 2018. He is the first ‘Federal Reserve’ chairman who does not have a degree in economics. A law graduate from the 'Georgetown University Law Center,' Powell practiced law at a couple of law firms for a few years in his early career. He then turned toward investment banking and worked at 'Dillon, Read & Co.' Following this, Powell served the ‘United States Department of the Treasury’ and then the 'Bankers Trust.' His successful stint at the 'Bipartisan Policy Center' led to his nomination to the ‘Federal Reserve Board of Governors’ in Obama's administration in 2012. Powell was nominated again in 2014 for a 14-year-long term. President Donald Trump nominated him to the position of the ‘Federal Reserve’ chair in 2017, a decision he later regretted. His support of the rising interest rates in the U.S. has drawn the president’s criticism time and again.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Jerome Hayden Powell

Age: 71 Years, 71 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Elissa Leonard (m. 1985)

father: Jerome Powell

mother: Patricia Powell

children: Lucy Powell, Sam Powell, Susie Powell

Born Country: United States

Lawyers Government Officials

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education: Princeton University, Georgetown University

Childhood & Early Life
Jerome Hayden “Jay” Powell was born on February 4, 1953, in Washington, D.C., U.S., to private lawyer Jerome Powell and Patricia Hayden. His maternal grandfather was the dean of the 'Columbus School of Law' at the 'Catholic University of America' and a lecturer at the 'Georgetown Law School.' He grew up with five siblings: Susan, Matthew, Tia, Libby, and Monica.
After graduating from the Jesuit institute 'Georgetown Preparatory School' in 1972, Powell attended 'Princeton University.' He obtained his BA degree in politics in 1975. Following this, he continued his studies at the same university and submitted his senior thesis, titled 'South Africa: Forces for Change.'
In 1975, Powell interned as a legislative assistant under Pennsylvania senator Richard Schweiker for a year. He then attended the 'Georgetown University Law Center' and received his Juris Doctor degree in 1979. He also served as the editor-in-chief of the 'Georgetown Law Journal.'
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Early Career

In 1979, Jerome Powell earned a clerical job under Judge Ellsworth Van Graafeiland of the ‘United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit’ in New York City. In 1981, he joined the international law firm 'Davis Polk & Wardwell' as a lawyer and continued working there till 1983.

From 1983 to 1984, he worked at the law firm 'Werbel & McMillen.' Following this, he turned toward investment banking and joined 'Dillon, Read and Company' in New York. In 1990, he quit the investment bank as the vice president.
Political Career
Powell moved back to Washington in 1990. He was appointed as the assistant secretary of the treasury for finance under the administration of President George H. W. Bush. He was later promoted to the position of the under secretary of the treasury secretary, Nicholas F. Brady, the former chairman of 'Dillon Read and Company.'

During his tenure in the treasury for finance, Jerome Powell supervised the policies of the financial institutions and the treasury debt market. He supervised the investigation of the false bidding case of the investment bank 'Salomon Brothers.' Under his supervision, Warren Buffett became the chairman of the bank.

Under the new administration of President Bill Clinton, Powell was appointed as the managing director of the 'Bankers Trust' in 1993. He resigned in 1995, when several clients of the bank suffered heavy losses due to derivative deals.
In 1997, Powell became a partner at the private-equity and asset-management firm named 'The Carlyle Group.' He established the 'Industrial Group' for the 'Carlyle U.S. Buyout Fund.' He quit 'Carlyle' in 2005.
He then established the private-investment firm 'Severn Capital Partners.' In 2008, Powell joined the private-investment and venture-capital firm 'Global Environment Fund' as a managing partner.

As a visiting scholar (2010 to 2012) at the Washington-based think tank 'Bipartisan Policy Center,' Jerome Powell persuaded congressional ‘Republicans’ to raise the debt limit in the wake of the United States debt-ceiling crisis in 2011. He accepted $1 as his annual salary.

Powell's work with the 'Policy Center' impressed Barack Obama, and he nominated him to the ‘Federal Reserve Board of Governors’ in December 2011. He emerged as a prominent ‘Republican’ who actively participated in the internal debates of the ‘Federal Reserve.’
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In May 2012, the senate confirmed Powell's nomination. With this, he became the first opposition party member to be nominated for the post since 1988. He assumed his duties in the ‘Federal Reserve’ on May 25, replacing Frederic Mishkin, who had resigned without completing his term.
During his term with the ‘Federal Reserve,’ Powell voted for four interest-rate increases and supported the revision and strengthening of the bond-buying program implied during the 2008 financial crisis.
In January 2014, Powell was nominated for another term in the ‘Federal Reserve.’ His nomination was confirmed in June 2014. Powell's 14-year term will end on January 31, 2028.

Jerome Powell supported the 'Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform' and the 'Consumer Protection Act' but suggested a more efficient and strategic application. In October 2017, he acknowledged the importance of higher capital and liquidity requirements in making the financial system safer. He also suggested the revision of the 'Volcker Rule,' saying that smaller banks should be excluded from the rule.

In November 2017, Donald Trump nominated Powell as the next ‘Federal Reserve’ chair. The 'Senate Banking Committee' confirmed his nomination on December 5, 2017, with ‘Democratic’ senator Elizabeth Warren as the only opposition. Powell won the position on January 23, 2018, by strong bipartisan support.
He assumed his duties as the 16th chairman of the ‘Board of Governors’ of the ‘Federal Reserve’ on February 5, 2018, for a 4-year term. He also serves as the chairman of the 'Federal Open Market Committee.'
At the annual 'American Economics Association' conference on January 4, 2019, Powell confirmed that he would not resign even if the Trump administration pressurized him to do so.

Trump has criticized Jerome Powell's decision of making monetary policy stricter, opposing lowering federal interest rates, and establishing quantitative easing, describing them as his lack of vision.

Trump also took the cold war between him and Powell to social media, calling him the "only problem" with the economy, in a ''tweet.'' He has even compared Powell to China's president, calling him a worse enemy than Xi Jinping.
Trump has even made efforts to dismiss Powell.
Family & Personal Life
Powell has been married to filmmaker, TV series writer, and producer Elissa Ann Leonard since 1985. They have three children: Samuel, Lucy and Susie.

In 2010, Jerome Powell served on the board of governors of the 'Chevy Chase Club.' He has also served on the boards of several non-profit organizations such as the public charter school 'DC Prep,' the 'Bendheim Center for Finance' at 'Princeton University,' and 'The Nature Conservancy' of Washington, D.C. He also established the 'Center City Consortium.'

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