Economist Lisa Cook will become the first black woman to serve on the Fed’s board of directors

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Economist Lisa Cook was confirmed as the first black woman on the Federal Reserve Board on Tuesday in a historic moment for the central bank as it tries to stabilize a recovery that benefits all Americans.

Cook was confirmed by a 51 votes against 50 in the Senate, with Vice President Harris casting the deciding vote. No Republican voted for Cook, and Democrats, who hold a slim majority, had delayed advancing her nomination until they could muster their 50 members to vote for her.

With new nominees, Biden is trying to bring together the most diverse Fed in history

Cook is among the nation’s foremost economists and teaches at Michigan State University. His research has focused on macroeconomics, economic history, international finance, and innovation, particularly on how hate-related violence has hurt US economic growth. His work analyzed how patent records show that riots, lynchings, and Jim Crow laws that targeted African-American communities in the late 1800s and early 1900s damaged the ability of black people to pursue crimes. inventions and discoveries at the time.

“If there’s something that gets in the way of the rate at which ideas come in, you’re going to slow down the economy,” Cook said on the “Planet Money” podcast in 2020. “It’s not just for this period. And it’s not just for black people, it’s a cautionary tale for all economies.

Cook also worked on the White House Council of Economic Advisers during the Obama administration and held visiting positions at the National Bureau of Economic Research, the University of Michigan, and the Federal Reserve Banks of New York, Chicago , Minneapolis and Philadelphia.

Biden completes Fed list with three new appointments

President Biden has sought to assemble the most diverse Fed board in the agency’s 108-year history. And Fed experts say the group of candidates recently nominated by the White House goes a long way to fulfilling Biden’s promise to make the Fed more representative of the country it serves.

Meanwhile, Fed policymakers face the highest inflation in 40 years, and the central bank faces the crucial test of bringing inflation under control without jeopardizing the labor market and overall economic recovery. Fed officials must also use their broad-based tools to support a recovery that lifts all Americans — without declaring victory before the economy’s most marginalized workers and households have a chance to join in that recovery. .

Biden also named economist Philip Jefferson, vice president of academic affairs and dean of faculty at Davidson College, to a vacant seat on the Fed’s board. If also confirmed, it would be the first time the Fed board has included more than one black governor at a time.

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