EAST LANSING — President Joe Biden will nominate Michigan State University’s Lisa Cook to the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, making her the first Black woman to serve on the board if the U.S. Senate confirms her nomination.
Biden will nominate three people to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, according to a White House press release Friday, including Cook, an economist and professor in the Department of Economics in MSU’s College of Social Science and a professor of international relations in MSU’s James Madison College.
If nominated as a Fed governor, Cook would join the board in voting on interest-rate policy decisions with the Fed’s policymaking committee, including the 12 regional Fed bank presidents, according to AP reports.
“The Federal Reserve plays a vital role in our economy,” according to the White House press release. “The President is confident that the Federal Reserve will act to achieve their dual goals of maximum sustainable employment and price stability and make sure that price increases do not become entrenched over a long term with the independence that they need.”
If the nominations are confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Cook and Philip Jefferson — an economist, dean of faculty at Davidson College in North Carolina and a former Fed researcher — would become the fourth and fifth Black nominees in the 108-year history of the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, according to AP reports.
Biden is also nominating Sarah Bloom Raskin, who has served as the deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and as a governor of the Federal Reserve Board, as vice chair for supervision for the Board of Governors.
Some of Cook’s most well-known research centers on the impact of racial violence on African-American innovation and invention, according to AP reports. She wrote in a 2013 paper that racially motivated violence “depressed patent awards to Black Americans by 15% annually between 1882 and 1940.” It’s a loss that she said restrained the overall U.S. economy.
Cook was also involved with the transition team for then President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, according to an MSU press release, where she helped review agencies like the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Federal Reserve, National Credit Union Administration and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
As part of President Barack Obama’s administration, Cook served as a senior economist for the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.
Cook also served on the Obama-Biden presidential transition team and led the World Bank and International Affairs division of the Treasury Department review.
If her nomination is confirmed, Cook would be joining the Federal Reserve Board of Governors during a time of high inflation — government officials reported Wednesday that inflation reached the highest level recorded in more than four decades. The Fed will be tasked with working to raise its benchmark interest rate in an effort to curb the high inflation while not undercutting the COVID-19 pandemic recession recovery, according to the AP.
“We are at a moment of historic economic progress alongside unique economic challenges as we work to drive our recovery forward,” Biden said, in the White House press release. This is a moment that calls for sound, independent leadership from the Board of Governors at the Federal Reserve. That is why I am proud to nominate Sarah Bloom Raskin, Lisa Cook, and Philip Jefferson, who will bring a breadth of knowledge, experience and expertise to the Board of Governors.
They will continue the important work of steering us on a path to a strong, sustainable recovery, while making sure that price increases do not become entrenched over the long term. I have full confidence in the strong leadership of this group of nominees, and that they have the experience, judgement, and integrity to lead the Federal Reserve and to help build our economy back better for working families.”
This article originally appeared on Lansing State Journal: MSU economist among Biden nominations to Federal Reserve