Lisa Cook becomes first black woman to be nominated on the Federal Reserve Board: Rewrites 108 year history

Lisa Cook becomes first black woman to be nominated on the Federal Reserve Board: Rewrites 108 year history

Distinguished Economist and Scholar Lisa Cook is poised to rewrite the Federal Reserve Board’s 108-year history as the first Black woman nominated on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve! If confirmed, she will be the first black woman in the policymaking role.

The Spelman alumna, with extensive experience and a remarkable career, worked at the U.S. Treasury and for the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers.

The IRIS research award winner, with decades of research on race-based disparities and global economics, earned an undergraduate scholarship to Spelman College before getting her Ph.D. at the prestigious UC Berkeley

Lisa D. Cook is a member of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth’s Steering Committee and professor of economics and international relations at Michigan State University. Prior to this appointment, she was on the faculty of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, deputy director for Africa research at the Center for International Development at Harvard University, and a national fellow at Stanford University. Cook was the first Marshall Scholar from Spelman College and received a second B.A. in philosophy, politics, and economics from Oxford University. She earned a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley, with fields in macroeconomics and international economics.

Cook boasts of an extensive list of awards, fellowships, and leadership positions. She was named a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research – the hall of fame for economists.

She was a senior economist at the Council of Economic Advisers under President Obama. She was a senior advisor on Finance and Development at the U.S. Treasury Department during part of the George W. Bush administration.

Supporters say her addition to the Fed would be welcome, as the institution has been long criticized for its lack of diversity.

“Throughout their long, distinguished careers, [the three nominees have] proven they understand how our economy works – and who makes it work,” Brown, one of Cook’s allies was quoted as saying in a news release last month.

“They will also bring important perspectives to the Federal Reserve Board about the economic issues women, Black and brown workers, and rural and industrial communities across the country face,” he added at the time. “I urge my colleagues to support these nominees and look forward to their hearings before the Banking and Housing Committee.”

Along with Cook, President Joe Biden nominated Sarah Bloom Raskin, a former Fed and Treasury official, and Phillip Jefferson, dean of faculty at Davidson College in North Carolina and a former Fed researcher.

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