The United States Senate confirmed Janet Yellen, 67, as new chairperson of the Federal Reserve — the first woman to take over the top spot in the 100-year history of the U.S. central bank, or any major central bank.
Second to Ben Bernanke since 2010, Yellen was Barack Obama’s pick for the Fed Chair. “Too many Americans still can’t find a job and worry how they’ll pay their bills and provide for their families,” she said at her White House nomination. “The Federal Reserve can help if it does its job effectively.”
In addition to her glass-ceiling-breaking status, Yellen is also be the first Democratic nominee to run the Fed since Paul Volcker became chairman in 1979 (via Jimmy Carter). She served as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under Bill Clinton and as head of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco from 2004 to 2010.
Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers was also considered for the Fed chair post but was ruled out.
In her first public appearance last November as nominee to succeed Bernanke, Yellen told the Senate Banking Committee that she would follow in her predecessor’s footsteps on quantitative easing and believes in loose monetary policy. “This program can’t continue indefinitely,” she said. “And I look forward to leading when the time is appropriate for normalizing.”