|Ben Bernanke is expected to be named to succeed Alan Greenspan as Fed chairman.|
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
President Bush was expected to announce Monday that he has picked top economic adviser Ben Bernanke to succeed Alan Greenspan as Federal Reserve Chairman, a person close to the administration said Monday.
An announcement was set for 1 p.m. EDT.
Bush told reporters there would be "an announcement soon" on his choice to replace Greenspan, whose 18-year tenure at the Fed runs out on Jan. 31.
The White House wanted to find a nominee quickly to allow enough time for the Senate to vote on confirmation before it adjourns for the year.
Bernanke is chairman of Bush's Council of Economic Advisers. He served on the Fed's board of governors for nearly three years before moving to the White House in June.
His move to the White House was watched with interest on Wall Street because of the belief that he was on the fast track to replace Greenspan.
Bernanke was considered one of the policy trend setters while at the central bank, espousing the virtues of an inflation target to guide monetary policy.
If he's confirmed, Bernanke will become perhaps the most powerful economic policy-maker in the world, with a big influence on interest rates paid by millions of consumers and businesses. (Full story).
Outgoing chairman Greenspan, despite some criticism in recent years, has built a reputation as one of the most astute of all the central bank's leaders.
He steered the world's largest economy through the 1987 stock market crash, a recession, the savings and loan crisis in the early 1990s, the meltdown of hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management and the slowdown after Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. (For more on Greenspan's next move, click here).
In addition to Bernanke, other candidates mentioned have included Glenn Hubbard, a past adviser to Bush, Harvard economist Martin Feldstein and Fed governor Donald Kohn.
Before Bernanke moved to the White House job, many had thought Bush would nominate Feldstein, a former CEA head under President Ronald Reagan and one of the nation's leading academic economists.
But as Bernanke's odds increased, Feldstein's seemed to diminish.
Bernanke was born on December 13, 1953, in Augusta, Georgia. He received a B.A. in economics in 1975 from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in economics in 1979 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (For more on Bernanke, click here).
Bernanke and his wife, Anna, have two children.
For more on Bernanke's path to the Fed, click here.
Does it really matter who the next Fed chairman is? Click here for more.