The seven members of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. A full term is fourteen years. One term begins every two years, on February 1 of even- numbered years. A member who serves a full term may not be reappointed. A member who completes an unexpired portion of a term may be reappointed. All terms end on their statutory date regardless of the date on which the member is sworn into office.
The Chairman and the Vice Chairman of the Board are named by the President from among the members and are confirmed by the Senate. They serve a term of four years. A member's term on the Board is not affected by his or her status as Chairman or Vice Chairman.
The seven members of the Board of Governors are nominated by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. By law, the appointments must yield a "fair representation of the financial, agricultural, industrial, and commercial interests and geographical divisions of the country," and no two Governors may come from the same Federal Reserve District.
The full term of a Governor is 14 years; appointments are staggered so that one term expires on January 31 of each even-numbered year. A Governor who has served a full term may not be reappointed, but a Governor who was appointed to complete the balance of an unexpired term may be reappointed to a full 14-year term.
Once appointed, Governors may not be removed from office for their policy views. The lengthy terms and staggered appointments are intended to contribute to the insulation of the Board--and the Federal Reserve System as a whole-- from day-to-day political pressures to which it might otherwise be subject.
In addition to serving as members of the Board, the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board serve terms of four years, and they may be reappointed to those roles and serve until their terms as Governors expire. The Chairman serves as public spokesperson and representative of the Board and manager of the Board's staff. The Chairman also presides at Board meetings. Affirming the apolitical nature of the Board, recent Presidents of both major political parties have selected the same person as Board Chairman.
The Congress sets the salaries of the Board members. For 2012, the Chairman's annual salary is $199,700. The annual salary of the other Board members (including the Vice Chairman) is $179,700.
Ben Bernanke is the current chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. He originally took office as Chairman on February 1, 2006, when he also began a 14-year term as a member of the Board. Ben S. Bernanke began a second term as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System on February 1, 2010.
Dr. Bernanke also serves as Chairman of the Federal Open Market Committee, the System's principal monetary policymaking body. His second term as Chairman ends January 31, 2014, and his term as a Board member ends January 31, 2020.
More information about Chairman Bernanke is available on the website of the Board of Governors.