U.S. Federal Open Market Committee

Explanation of the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee.

The U.S. Federal Open Market Committee decides when and how the Fed will conduct open market operations, which influence the monetary base. The FOMC meets eight times a year (approximately every six weeks), with the first and fifth meetings scheduled over two days each.

The FOMC is made up of 12 voting members: the seven governors from the U.S. Federal Reserve Board and five U.S. Federal Reserve Bank presidents. The president of the New York U.S. Federal Reserve Bank is always a voting member because of the large share of member banks in that district. Four other regional bank presidents rotate in for one-year terms as voting members; the other regional bank presidents participate at meetings as nonvoting committee members.

In normal times, open market operations are considered the U.S. Federal Reserve’s most effective policy tool. Thus the FOMC is generally the most visible portion of the system.

2017 Members

Alternate Members