A replacement for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will not be named by President Obama until this fall at the earliest according to a senior White House official.

January marks the expiration of Bernanke’s term, and any replacement must be confirmed by the Senate. The process could be contentious and take time, but the White House’s decision not to rush a nomination suggests it is still weighing different candidates.

White House officials are keeping the names of nominees close to their vest. Two people frequently circulating as potential candidates are former National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers and Fed Vice Chairman Janet Yellen.

Bernanke was nominated by President George W. Bush for his first term as chairman in 2005. In 2010, President Obama had the opportunity to appoint a new Fed chairman but opted to renominate Bernanke for another four-year term.

At the time many expected Bernanke to be renominated, but the format was rather unconventional. President Obama announced the reappointment of Bernanke in 2010 while vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard.

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