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Biden announces three more Federal Reserve nominees

Updated January 14, 2022 at 9:44 AM ET

President Joe Biden announced three additional nominees for the Federal Reserve Board on Friday, rounding out the central bank's governing body as it prepares to tackle the highest inflation in nearly four decades.

Biden is tapping former Fed governor Sarah Bloom Raskin to serve as Vice Chair for Supervision — a key regulatory role. In addition, Biden nominated academic economists Lisa Cook and Philip Jefferson to fill the remaining vacancies on the Fed's seven-member governing board.

"This group will bring much needed expertise, judgement and leadership to the Federal Reserve while at the same time bringing a diversity of thought and perspective never seen before on the Board of Governors," the president said in a statement.

If confirmed, Cook and Jefferson would be two of only five African American Fed governors in the central bank's 108-year history, and the first since 2006.

Biden had already nominated Fed Chairman Jerome Powell to serve a second term and promoted Fed governor Lael Brainard to serve as Vice Chairman. The Senate Banking Committee held hearings on those nominations this week.

The new appointments come at a sensitive time for the central bank, which is under growing pressure to address rising prices. Annual inflation hit 7% in December, marking the sharpest jump in consumer prices since 1982.

Raskin is a former financial regulator from Maryland, who served an earlier stint on the Fed board during the Obama administration. She left that post to take a job with the Treasury Department. Raskin is married to Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., who led the second impeachment of President Donald Trump.

Sarah Bloom Raskin has been outspoken in arguing that bank regulators should consider the financial risks posed by climate change. Senate Republicans challenged that viewpoint this week during confirmation hearings for Powell and Brainard.

Cook is a professor at Michigan State University who served as a senior economist during the Obama administration. Her academic research has explored areas such as innovation by African Americans and the negative effect on Black patents after lynchings and other attacks.

Jefferson is a former Fed economist who is now a professor and administrator at Davidson College. He has written extensively about poverty.

A source familiar with the nominees said they are committed to fighting inflation while ensuring that economic growth benefits all workers.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Horsley is NPR's Chief Economics Correspondent. He reports on ups and downs in the national economy as well as fault lines between booming and busting communities.