Today, President Biden announced his intent to nominate Jerome Powell for a second term as Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and to nominate Dr. Lael Brainard to serve as Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
While our country still faces challenges as we emerge from the pandemic, we have made enormous progress in bringing our economy back to life and getting Americans back to work. Since the President took office, the economy has created over 5.6 million jobs, unemployment has fallen to 4.6% – two years faster than projected – and the pace of our economy’s growth outstrips the rest of the developed world.
That outcome is a testament to the success of the President’s economic agenda, and it is a testament to decisive action by Chair Powell and the Federal Reserve to cushion the impact of the pandemic and get America’s economy back on track. Chair Powell has provided steady leadership during an unprecedently challenging period, including the biggest economic downturn in modern history and attacks on the independence of the Federal Reserve.
During that time, Lael Brainard – one of our country’s leading macroeconomists – has played a key leadership role at the Federal Reserve, working with Powell to help power our country’s robust economic recovery.
Powell and Brainard share the Administration’s focus on ensuring that economic growth broadly benefits all workers. That’s why they oversaw a landmark re-evaluation of the Federal Reserve’s objectives to refocus its mission on the needs of workers of all backgrounds. And they’ve advanced key priorities that the President shares, like addressing the financial risks posed by climate change, and staying ahead of emerging risks to our financial system.
America needs steady, independent, and effective leadership at the Federal Reserve so it can advance its dual goals of keeping inflation low and prices stable, as well as creating a strong labor market that broadly benefits workers with better jobs and higher wages. President Biden has full confidence in Powell and Brainard’s experience, judgment, and integrity to continue delivering on those mandates and to help build our economy back better for working families.
President Biden still has three vacant seats on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors to fill, including the important position of Vice Chair for Supervision. The President intends to make those appointments beginning in early December, and is committed to improving the diversity in the Board’s composition.
Statement from President Biden
“While there’s still more to be done, we’ve made remarkable progress over the last 10 months in getting Americans back to work and getting our economy moving again. That success is a testament to the economic agenda I’ve pursued and to the decisive action that the Federal Reserve has taken under Chair Powell and Dr. Brainard to help steer us through the worst downturn in modern American history and put us on the path to recovery. As I’ve said before, we can’t just return to where we were before the pandemic, we need to build our economy back better, and I’m confident that Chair Powell and Dr. Brainard’s focus on keeping inflation low, prices stable, and delivering full employment will make our economy stronger than ever before. Together, they also share my deep belief that urgent action is needed to address the economic risks posed by climate change, and stay ahead of emerging risks in our financial system. Fundamentally, if we want to continue to build on the economic success of this year we need stability and independence at the Federal Reserve – and I have full confidence after their trial by fire over the last 20 months that Chair Powell and Dr. Brainard will provide the strong leadership our country needs.”
Jerome Powell for Chair
Jerome Powell took office as chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in February 2018, for a four-year term ending in February 2022. His term as a member of the Board of Governors will expire January 31, 2028.
Powell was born in Washington, D.C. He received a bachelor’s degree in politics from Princeton University in 1975 and earned a law degree from Georgetown University in 1979. While at Georgetown, he was editor-in-chief of the Georgetown Law Journal.
Powell served as an assistant secretary and as undersecretary of the Treasury under President George H.W. Bush. There, he was responsible for policy on financial institutions, the Treasury debt market, and related areas. In 2011, Powell was nominated by President Obama to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, where he served as a Governor until his confirmation as Chairman in 2018. Before public service, he worked as a lawyer and investment banker in New York City.
Dr. Lael Brainard for Vice Chair
Lael Brainard took office as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in June 2014 to fill an unexpired term ending January 31, 2026.
Prior to her appointment to the Board, Dr. Brainard served as undersecretary of the US Department of Treasury from 2010 to 2013 and counselor to the secretary of the Treasury in 2009. From 2001 to 2008, she was vice president and the founding director of the Global Economy and Development Program at the Brookings Institution. Dr. Brainard also previously served as deputy national economic adviser for President Clinton. From 1990 to 1996, she was assistant and associate professor of applied economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management.
Dr. Brainard received a BA with university honors from Wesleyan University in 1983. She received an MS and a PhD in economics in 1989 from Harvard University, where she was awarded a National Science Foundation Fellowship. She is also the recipient of a White House Fellowship.