Sandra Pianalto served as the tenth president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland from February 2003 to May 2014.
Originally from Italy, she immigrated with her family to Akron, Ohio, as a young child. She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Akron and a master’s degree in economics from George Washington University. She is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and holds honorary degrees from the University of Akron, Baldwin-Wallace College, Kent State University, Ursuline College, Notre Dame College, Cleveland State University, John Carroll University, and the University of Toledo.
Pianalto joined the Cleveland Fed in February 1983 as an economist in the Research Department. She was appointed assistant vice president of public affairs in December 1984 and promoted to vice president and secretary to the board of directors in January 1988 and first vice president and chief operating officer in January 1993.
Before joining the Reserve Bank, Pianalto was an economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and served on the staff of the Budget Committee of the US House of Representatives.
Pianalto was active in the civic community during her tenure at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. She served as vice chair of the board of directors of University Hospitals and a past chair and life director of the board of the United Way of Greater Cleveland, as well as an advisory trustee for the University of Akron. She served on the boards of a number of other community organizations, including the Cleveland Foundation, Greater Cleveland Partnership, Team Northeast Ohio, and College Now Greater Cleveland.
Pianalto served the Federal Reserve System during an extraordinary period in our country’s economic history, seeing the Fourth District through the financial crisis and severe recession of 2008-09, and leading the Bank to focus not just on operational excellence, but also on thought leadership.
Written by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. See disclaimer.