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America’s Newest Chairwoman

Official portrait of Vice Chair Janet L. Yellen. Dr. Yellen took office as Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System on October 4, 2010, for a four-year term ending October 4, 2014. She simultaneously began a 14-year term as a member of the Board that will expire January 31, 2024.

Britt leckman

Official portrait of Vice Chair Janet L. Yellen. Dr. Yellen took office as Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System on October 4, 2010, for a four-year term ending October 4, 2014. She simultaneously began a 14-year term as a member of the Board that will expire January 31, 2024.

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On January 31, 2014, the Federal Reserve got a new chairman–or actually, a new chairwoman. Her name is Janet Yellen, and she is taking the top spot in the Federal Reserve since Ben Bernanke stepped down.

Yellen was raised in Brooklyn, NY. She attended Yale University where she obtained a Ph. D in Economics.  Soon after Yellen became an assistant professor at Harvard University in Cambridge. During her education Yellen and her husband co-wrote dozens of papers that delved into employment and wages. Later, President Bill Clinton appointed her to serve on the Federal Reserve’s board of governors during the 1990’s.

Before being nominated by President Obama to her current position, she was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Currently, she serves as the No. 2 at the Federal Reserve, to which she was nominated to in 2010. Now that the Senate has approved her as the chairman of the Federal Reserve, her term in this position will surpass that of President Obama’s second term.

She was nominated for the position after former candidate Lawrence Summers withdrew from consideration after mounting opposition from Democrats in the Senate Banking Committee.  Like Summers, Yellen has endured plenty of critical scrutiny in Washington. During her nomination, many Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee were concerned that she wasn’t qualified enough for the position, and believed that she won’t be able to handle inflation well, especially with such a strong focus on the unemployment rate in the country. Republicans have voiced concerns that Yellen’s policies are so focused on economic growth and unemployment that it would increase inflation and cause the devaluation of assets as a result.

However, her supporters from the Democratic Party claim that she would be the most qualified person for the position. While serving as No. 2 at the Federal Reserve she had the most accurate economic predictions, being more accurate than former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. She was even one of the first people in the Federal Reserve to predict the financial crisis of 2008.

It is difficult to determine whether Yellen would make a good term as chairman of the Federal Reserve since she’s just started the position. Many are excited about her arrival and claim she is the most qualified chairman nominee in the history of the Federal Reserve, but will her economic policies truly help America? We’ll find out soon.

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America’s Newest Chairwoman