Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen accepted her nomination while President Barack Obama and Chairman Ben Bernanke looked on.
On October 9, economist Janet Yellen was nominated by President Barack Obama to be the next chair of the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve is the central banking system of the United States. It sets the nation’s monetary policy, or rules related to controlling the supply of money. Its main purpose is to keep the United States economy running smoothly. If the U.S. Senate confirms Yellen’s nomination, she will be the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve in its 100-year history.
Yellen is currently serving as vice chair of the Federal Reserve alongside Chairman Ben Bernanke. If confirmed, Yellen will be sworn in as chair when Bernanke’s second term ends on January 31, 2014. Leaders in the Senate are hopeful that her nomination will be confirmed soon.
Janet Yellen grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Her childhood friends remember her being good at so many school subjects that they weren’t sure what profession she would choose as an adult. In high school, Yellen was editor-in-chief of the school newspaper and valedictorian of her class. She loved to travel with her family and see plays at New York City’s many theaters.
After graduating from high school, Yellen attended Brown University and earned a degree in economics in 1967. She received her Ph.D. in economics from Yale University in 1971. She went on to work as an economist in many academic and government roles. In the late 1990s, she joined President Bill Clinton’s team of economic advisers. Before becoming vice chair of the Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C., she was head of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
In her nomination acceptance speech, Vice Chairwoman Yellen promised to promote “maximum employment, stable prices, and a strong and stable financial system.” She said that there was more that could be done to make sure that people who are out of work can find jobs. As chair of the Federal Reserve, Yellen said she would help ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to make a better life for themselves.