President Joe Biden is expected to soon unveil his three picks for the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, which includes a potential history-making nominee.
Lisa Cook, a long-time Professor of Economics and International Relations at Michigan State University, is among Biden’s selected Fed leaders, and would be the first Black woman to serve in the role.
Cook is also the first Marshall Scholar from Spelman College and, if confirmed by the Senate, would join Biden’s other picks, Sarah Bloom Raskin and Philip Jefferson, to fill out the seven-member board, The Huffington Post reported. As the US’ central bank, members of this board help set interest-rate policy the Federal Reserve during its eight annual meetings.
Cook comes brings years of experience to the board after having served on the Biden-Harris economic transition team following the 2020 election and on the White House Council of Economic Advisors from 2011 to 2012.
She is best-known for her research on the impact of racial violence Black inventions. In 2013, she authored a paper that found racist laws and the threat of racially-motivated intimidation led to a decrease in the number of Black people awarded patents by 15% annually between 1882 and 1940. Her conclusions further underscore the historical roots of the nation’s wealth gap.
Cook along with Jefferson would be the fourth and fifth Black people to serve on the Board in its 108-year history. Their nominations come as inflation reached a 40-year high while the economy recovers amid the Covid-19 pandemic.