WASHINGTON -- The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston yesterday appointed Cathy E. Minehan as president and chief executive officer.

Minehan, 47, who served as first vice president and chief operating officer at the Boston Fed, is a veteran banking official who began her career with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in 1968. She succeeds Richard Syron, who resigned earlier this year to become president of the American Stock Exchange.

Minehan's appointment was made by the directors of the Boston Fed with the approval of the Fed's Board of Governors. She is the second woman in the history of the Federal Reserve to head a regional bank, following former Cleveland Bank President Karen Horn.

House Banking Committee Chairman Henry Gonzalez, D-Tex., said he was pleased by the appointment of "the only non-male president" among the 12 Federal Reserve banks, and hopes Minehan "will bring a fresh outlook to the job."

Minehan is typical of many Fed appointees, however, in that she is a product of many years within the system. She spent 23 years with the New York Fed, ending up as senior vice president in 1987 before she transferred to Boston in 1991. Boston Fed officials said she is an expert in the payments system.

As president of the Boston Fed, Minehan will sit in on meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee. She is scheduled to become a voting member Jan. 1, 1995.

-- Stephen A. Davies

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