Senate confirms Yellen as first woman to lead Federal Reserve Bank

Janet Yellen, a professor emeritus at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and a trailblazer for women economists in academia, will become the 15th chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors starting Feb. 1. The U.S. Senate confirmed the presidential nominee today (Monday, Jan. 6).

Federal Reserve Chief Janet Yellen (Photo by Haas School of Business)

Federal Reserve Chief Janet Yellen (Photo by Haas School of Business)

The appointment makes Yellen the first woman to lead the nation’s central banking system and monetary policy.

In her confirmation before the Senate Banking Committee in November, Yellen said she intends to use the role to prevent another financial crisis, will hold down short-term interest rates until unemployment recovers, and looks forward to leading the normalization of monetary policy. She said she will also continue promoting transparency of Fed decisions so  Americans can understand how those decisions affect them.

The Eugene E. and Catherine M. Trefethen Professor Emeritus of Business Administration, Yellen taught macroeconomics and international business to undergraduate and MBA students at the Haas School for 24 of her 26 years on the Berkeley campus. She became the second woman at the business school to earn tenure in 1982, as well as the title of full professor in 1985, forging the path for other female business professors at Berkeley-Haas.

Yellen succeeds Fed Chair Ben Bernanke and will serve a four-year term.

Her appointment represents a long tradition of faculty from the business school and across the campus serving the federal government at the highest levels.

Watch Yellen’s testimony before the Senate Banking Committee on Nov. 14.