President Biden is seeking to fill vacancies on the U.S. Federal Reserve, hoping to stack the Central Bank with its top governors as it continues working to stem inflation.
Mr. Biden is nominating Philip Jefferson, currently a member of the Board of Governors, to also serve as vice chair for the remaining four years of his term. The 61-year-old was first nominated to the Board last year. If confirmed, he’d succeed Lael Brainard, who stepped down earlier this year as vice chair and a member of the Board to serve as head of the president’s National Economic Council.
The president is also nominating current Board member Lisa D. Cook to a full 14-year term and Adriana Kugler, the U.S. executive director of the World Bank, to serve out the remaining three years of Brainard’s old spot on the Board.
“These nominees understand that this job is not a partisan one, but one that plays a critical role in pursuing maximum employment, maintaining price stability, and supervising many of our nation’s financial institutions,” the president said in a statement announcing the picks. “I am confident these nominees will help build upon the historically strong economic recovery we have had under my Administration.”
The U.S. Senate confirmed Jefferson to the central bank last May to fill a term ending in 2036. A former economist for the Board of Governors, he most recently held positions at Davidson College and Swarthmore College.
Cook, 58, was also confirmed to the bank last May to fill out a term ending in 2024. Her new role would give her a new 14-year term. A former researcher at the National Bureau of Economic Research, she previously taught at Michigan State University and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Kugler, 53, served as the Labor Department’s chief economist during the Obama administration and taught at Georgetown University before her stint at the World Bank.
The nominees are long-serving academic and research experts in the fields of economics and banking and emblematic of the administration’s ongoing push to diversify the federal ranks, especially in areas like economics, regulatory affairs and the federal courts, where the ranks of women and minorities historically lag. Jefferson would be the second African American nominated to the deputy post, and Kugler would be the first Latino ever nominated to the Board of Governors.
Kugler is Colombian American and her pick should help assuage concerns of Latino lawmakers and organizations who continue to call out the White House for failing to nominate more qualified Latinos to the central bank and independent regulatory bodies, including the Federal Communications Commission.
“In the 109-year history of the Federal Reserve, there has never, never, been a single member of the Board of Governors or regional bank president who has the lived experience of being Latino in the United States.”
On Friday, Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez, of New Jersey, credited Mr. Biden for all three nominations, saying he is “signaling that the hopes and dreams of Black and Latino Americans are central to the promise of America.”
Menendez, who sits on the Senate Banking Committee, added that Kugler’s nomination means “We are finally giving Latinos, all 62 million of us who call this country home, a seat at the table where the most consequential decisions on monetary policy are made.”