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Thursday, October 10, 2013

A woman to head Federal Reserve 100 years after its creation

President Obama nominates Dr. Janet Yellen to succeed Ben Bernanke as chair of the Federal Reserve. Dr. Yellen has served in leadership positions at the Fed for more than a decade, including the last three years as vice chair. She also served previously as the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, and was a leading researcher in monetary economics at Harvard and Berkeley.

If confirmed by the Senate, Dr. Yellen would be the first woman to hold the position of chair of the Federal Reserve, 100 years after the creation of the US central bank.

Janet Yellen who is 67, was born in 1946 in Brooklyn, New York. Her father was a family doctor and her mother was a teacher.

At high school, she won a place to study maths at Brown University, but switched to economics, a subject she saw as more useful.

In her first job at  Harvard in 1971, she lectured to Lawrence Summers, the former Treasury secretary, who was expected to get the nomination.

Yellen took office as vice chair of the Fed in October 2010, for a four-year term.  She is professor emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley and her husband George Akerlof is a professor of economics at Berkeley and the winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics. Their son, Dr. Robert Akerlof, is an economist at the University of Warwick in the UK.

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