Michigan State professor nominated as first Black woman on Federal Reserve board

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  • Professor
    Academic title at universities and other education and research institutions
  • Lisa D. Cook
    American economist and teacher
  • Barack Obama
    Barack Obama
    44th president of the United States
  • Joe Biden
    Joe Biden
    46th and current president of the United States

President Joe Biden on Friday nominated Lisa Cook, a professor at Michigan State University, to become the first Black woman to serve on the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors if confirmed by the Senate.

The Federal Reserve sets monetary policy for the country, setting interest rates and regulating the flow of money. Biden also nominated Sarah Bloom Raskin to serve as vice chair for supervision on the board and Philip Jefferson, vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty at Davidson College in North Carolina, to serve on the board.

Cook is a professor of economics and international relations at Michigan State, where she has held positions since 2005. She was the first Marshall Scholar from Spelman College, received a bachelor's degree in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford University and a doctorate in economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

She has also served as an adjunct professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, as deputy director for Africa research at the Center for International Development at Harvard and as a national fellow at Stanford University. She was also on the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President Barack Obama.

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Cook's nomination to the board comes as it is wrestling with how to slow inflation, which has jumped precipitously amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This week, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell told a Senate committee that inflation presents a serious challenge to getting Americans back to work and that interest rates could be increased at an accelerating rate if it is needed to slow price hikes.

In a statement, Biden said he made the new nominations "at a moment of historic economic progress alongside unique economic challenges" and that Raskin, Cook and Jefferson "bring a breadth of knowledge, experience and expertise" to the board.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer praised Cook's selection.

“Lisa Cook is one of the preeminent economists in the country — an esteemed Spartan professor and mentor to countless young women," she said. I am thrilled that President Biden has nominated her to serve on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors."

MSU President Samuel Stanley Jr. called Cook "a remarkable economist and leader who will serve our nation well."

"Her nomination embodies the excellence of our Spartan faculty as she is well on her way to shatter another glass ceiling as the first Black woman to serve on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors," he said.

Contact Todd Spangler at tspangler@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @tsspangler. Read more on Michigan politics and sign up for our elections newsletter.

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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan State professor Lisa Cook nominated to Federal Reserve board

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