President Clinton on Friday nominated Roger W. Ferguson Jr. to be vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.
One spot on the seven-member Fed board remains open. A White House spokesman initially said an appointment for that seat could be made late Friday but by press time said it was unlikely.
Mr. Ferguson "will be the first African-American vice chair of the Fed," President Clinton told reporters. "He is superbly qualified. He has served well."
The tapping of Mr. Ferguson, who has been a Fed governor since 1997, came a day after former banker Carol J. Parry was nominated to a board vacancy.
The Senate must confirm the nominees. No hearings have been scheduled, a Senate Banking Committee spokeswoman said.
The vice chairman holds a four-year term; a governor's term is 14 years. Mr. Ferguson succeeded former Fed governor Lawrence B. Lindsey in a term that ends Jan. 31, 2000. Mr. Ferguson has led year-2000 preparedness efforts for both the central bank and the banks that it supervises.
Before joining the Fed, he was a partner at the management consulting firm McKinsey & Co., where he was an information technology expert. He also worked in the Wall Street law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell for his first three years out of Harvard University, where he got his law degree as well as a Ph.D and B.A. in economics.
Ms. Parry headed the community development group at Chase Manhattan Corp. until June. She also worked there and for predecessor banks in middle-market business and private banking.
"For the first time, the Fed will have a governor who empirically understands what (Community Reinvestment Act) regulation is all about," said John E. Taylor, president of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition.
Her confirmation hearing could provide a major public forum of discussion on the CRA for Senate Banking Committee Chairman Phil Gramm, who has proposed scaling back parts of that law and other reforms.
A committee spokeswoman said Friday that there is not any foreseeable "blocking" of Ms. Parry by Sen. Gramm because he is not familiar with Ms. Parry's background nor had he had "a chance to look" at her nomination papers.