WASHINGTON (AP) — Charles Evans will retire early next year after 15 years as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, a tenure that made him the longest-serving current regional Fed president, the bank announced Thursday.

Among Fed officials, Evans has been a vocal supporter of lower interest rates. His departure comes as the Fed is wrestling with how quickly and how high to boost its benchmark short-term rate in its fight against inflation, which is at its worst level in four decades.

Regional Fed presidents like Evans take part in the central bank’s eight policymaking meetings each year. But every year, on a rotating basis, just four of the 12 regional bank presidents have a vote on the central bank’s interest rate decisions. The Chicago Fed president will have a vote next year.

In a statement, the Chicago Fed described Evans as a “strong supporter” of improving the central bank’s communication with the public. It also noted that he helped develop the Fed’s so-called “dot plot,” which four times a year anonymously displays each Fed official’s preferred path for interest rates in the coming years.

The Chicago Fed said it has formed a search committee for Evans’ replacement, led by Helene Gayle, CEO of the Chicago Community Trust, a nonprofit group, and David Habiger, CEO of JD Power, an auto review website.

Evans’ departure is unlikely to lead to any significant shift in the Fed’s policymaking, said Michael Pugliese, an economist at Wells Fargo.

“I would not anticipate us making any major changes to our monetary policy forecast,” Pugliese said, referring to Wells Fargo’s outlook.