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Stateside Podcast: Lisa Cook and the barriers for Black economists

Lisa Cook stands in a black blazer with yellow trim, smiling with her arms crossed in front of four young women students
Kurt Stepnitz/Kurt Stepnitz
Michigan State University
MSU economics professor Lisa Cook is the first Black woman to be nominated to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

You might not know their names, but the people who sit on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors make some really important decisions that touch every corner of the U.S. economy. 

Among President Joe Biden's nominations to serve on the board is Michigan State University economist Lisa Cook. She is the first Black woman to be nominated to the post.

Cook is already a star in the field of economics, especially when it comes to talking about how economic policy influences working class families and communities of color. 

This week, Republican senators boycotted the vote to confirm Cook and other Biden nominees. While the delay in the committee vote concerned another Biden nominee, a number of conservative senators and commentators have voiced objections to Cook as well.

But none of that hasn’t dimmed the excitement over Lisa Cook’s nomination, particularly among Black economists. On today's episode, we talk to two of them about the impact that Cook has had—both on the field of economics and on their own careers.

Our guests were Trevon Logan, a professor of economics and associate dean at Ohio State University. We also spoke with Anna Gifty Okopu-Agyeman, co-founder of The Sadie Collective, which is widening the field of Black women in economics. She is currently a graduate student at the Harvard Kennedy School

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Stateside’s theme music is by 14KT.

Additional music byBlue Dot Sessions.

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April Van Buren is a producer for <i>Stateside</i>. She produces interviews for air as well as web and social media content for the show.