Press Release

Former New York Fed President William J. McDonough Has Died

January 25, 2018

NEW YORK – The Federal Reserve Bank of New York today announced that former president and chief executive officer, William J. McDonough, died Monday, January 22, 2018 at his home in Waccabuc, New York.   He was 83.

Mr. McDonough began his career at the New York Fed in January, 1992 as head of Markets.  He became the eighth president of the New York Fed in 1993, served through June, 2003, and led the Bank through several unprecedented challenges.

In 1998, Mr. McDonough led the financial community in avoiding a potential systemic event by fashioning a private-sector rescue of failing hedge fund, Long Term Capital Management.  He also oversaw the Y2K transition at the Bank, which required enormous planning, cooperation, and contingency preparation, not only by the New York Fed, but also with the Federal Reserve System and with banking institutions throughout the Second District.

Mr. McDonough’s tenure also saw the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.  Beyond the devastating impact on the people of New York and the physical infrastructure supporting the financial markets, the attack caused an immediate liquidity crisis to which the New York Fed responded, working quickly to ensure that financial markets could reopen.

Before joining the New York Fed, Mr. McDonough served as an advisor to a variety of domestic and international organizations. He retired from First Chicago Corp. and its bank, First National Bank of Chicago, in 1989 after a 22-year career with First Chicago Corp. and served as vice chairman from 1986 to 1989. Prior to his career with First Chicago, Mr. McDonough was with the U.S.A. State Department from 1961 to 1967 and was a U.S. Navy officer from 1956 to 1961.

After leaving the New York Fed, Mr. McDonough served as the chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) from June 2003 to November 2005. He also served on the boards of several financial and international organizations.

He was a member of the board of directors of Carnegie Corp. of New York and served as a member of the board of directors of Georgetown University and New York Philharmonic Orchestra where he was vice chairman.

He was awarded the Légion d’Honneur, rank Officiér, by President Jacques Chirac as well as medals from the Presidents of Mexico and Uruguay.

Mr. McDonough was born on April 21, 1934.  He is survived by his wife, Suzanne Clarke McDonough, six children and 10 grandchildren.

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