WASHINGTON — Sandra Pianalto, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, will retire early next year, the bank announced Thursday. A search committee has been assigned to find a successor, and a final decision is expected in early 2014.

Pianalto jointed the Cleveland Fed bank in 1983 as an economist. A year later, she was appointed vice president of public affairs, and in 1988 she became vice president and secretary to the board. She was named first vice president and chief operating officer in 1993, and assumed her current position running the bank in 2003.

Pianalto has also had stints as an economist with the Federal Reserve Board and as a staffer on the House Budget Committee.

"It has been an honor to serve as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and to participate on the Federal Open Market Committee during this extraordinary period in our country's economic history," Pianalto said in a press release. "I am proud of the Bank's many accomplishments, which would not have been possible without the talented and dedicated employees I have had the privilege of working with."

The search committee is being formed by Richard K. Smucker, chief executive of the J.M. Smucker Co. and chairman of the Cleveland Fed's board of directors, as well deputy chairman Christopher M. Connor, who is chief executive officer of The Sherwin-Williams Co.

Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Fed board, said Pianalto "has been a remarkable colleague who has made invaluable contributions to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, the Federal Reserve System, and the country. We will miss her thoughtful insights and leadership across a broad range of issues, including monetary policy, payments policy, and community development."

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