The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis announced Wednesday it has named University of Minnesota economics professor Narayana Kocherlakota as its President and CEO. Kocherlakota, who chaired the economics department from 2006 to 2008, will be taking a two-year unpaid leave of absence from teaching with the option of returning at any time, Department of Economics Chairman Larry Jones said. âÄúTwo years were approved,âÄù Jones said. âÄúAs for an extension, we donâÄôt know yet.âÄù The FedâÄôs Minneapolis Board of Directors and its national Board of Governors both unanimously approved KocherlakotaâÄôs appointment, Fed spokesman David Fettig said. The move reflects highly on the University and its economic department, Jones said. âÄúItâÄôs great for everybody,âÄù he said. âÄúItâÄôs unfortunate that weâÄôre losing him for two years, but weâÄôre all very happy and proud.âÄù Kocherlakota has served as a consultant to the bank since 1999. His familiarity with the Federal Reserve System âÄúcertainly didnâÄôt hurtâÄù him in his appointment, Fettig said. As president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Kocherlakota will lead one of the 12 regional Reserve Banks that make up the Federal Reserve System. His responsibilities will include, among other things, implementing monetary policy, keeping track of and reporting on the ninth district and attending Federal Open Market Committee meetings in Washington D.C., Fettig said. The ninth Federal Reserve District includes Montana, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, northwestern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He will begin his duties at the bank Oct. 8.