Bemidji State alum Christopher Waller confirmed to Federal Reserve Board

Christopher Waller, a 1981 BSU graduate, was recently confirmed by the U.S. Senate as a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

Christopher Waller, a 1981 graduate from Bemidji State University, was recently confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Submitted photo.

BEMIDJI -- From the halls of Bemidji State University to a revered seat in our nation’s capital, Christopher Waller has made an impact.

Waller, a 1981 BSU graduate, was recently confirmed by the U.S. Senate as a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

In his Senate hearing in early December, Waller was confirmed by a narrow margin, with 48 senators voting in favor and 47 against.

The Federal Reserve Board of Governors is comprised of seven members who are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The Board of Governors serves as the governing body of the Federal Reserve System by regulating banks, contributing to the nation's monetary policy, and overseeing the activities of Reserve Banks.

Of the current members, including Waller, four of the six governors have been appointed by President Trump, with one other seat currently vacant.


Waller attended Bemidji State University for his undergraduate education and finished with a bachelor’s of arts in economics in 1981. In 2014, he was selected as an outstanding alumnus by the BSU Alumni and Foundation.

In his outstanding alumnus video produced by the Bemidji State University Alumni and Foundation, Waller credited former BSU professor Lowell Johnson, with sparking his love for economics.

Waller told BSU Lowell advised him to stop thinking about a job and start thinking about a career, and he took it to heart.

Professor emeritus of economics Robert Ley, one of Waller’s instructors at BSU, underscored the impressive nature of Waller’s accomplishments as well as the contributions he makes to the field and his community, during his outstanding alumni award nomination in 2014.

“Most economists would agree he has helped in important ways to advance our understanding of monetary and financial economics, as well as effectiveness of monetary policy,” Ley said to the BSU Alumni and Foundation in 2014.

Waller has overseen the development of an educational series for the public, programs for classrooms and resources for consumers to inform people about economics, personal finance and the Federal Reserve, according to his BSU alumni profile.

In his time since graduating from BSU, Waller has earned a master’s and a doctoral degree from Washington State University, taught at Notre Dame, Indiana University, the University of Kentucky, as well as all over the world on visiting professorships. Waller’s work has been published in a variety of scholarly journals such as the American Economic Review and the Quarterly Journal of Economics. Most recently, he sat as senior vice president and director of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Waller’s term on the Board of Governors will expire on Jan. 31, 2030, as he is completing a term that started in 2016.

Hannah Olson is a multimedia reporter for the Pioneer covering education, Indigenous-centric stories and features.
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