Harvard's Kaplan, once at Goldman Sachs, to head Dallas Fed

(Reuters) - The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas on Monday picked Robert Steven Kaplan to be its next president, ending a nine-month search just as U.S. central bankers near the critical decision of when and how fast to raise interest rates.

Kaplan, a 58-year-old Harvard business school professor and former Goldman Sachs vice chairman, takes his post on Sept. 8, the Dallas Fed said in an email. He succeeds Richard Fisher, who ran the Dallas Fed for 10 years until his retirement in March. Fisher was an outspoken policy hawk.

Kaplan’s monetary policy leanings are unclear. His publications notably focus on how to be a good leader, including “What You’re Really Meant To Do: A Road Map for Reaching Your Unique Potential.”

He is on the board of Heidrick and Struggles, the search firm hired to seek candidates for the post, the Dallas Fed said, and was initially contacted about the position by a member of the bank’s search committee.

He will step down from that post, along with other board memberships including chairman of the Investment Advisory Committee at Google Inc., when he takes over at the Dallas Fed.

The Dallas Fed president rotates into a voting spot on the Fed’s policy-setting panel in 2017, and takes part in policy discussions at the central bank’s regular meetings.

Reporting by Ann Saphir Editing by W Simon and Alan Crosby