President Joe Biden nominated Federal Reserve Gov. Philip Jefferson on Friday to serve as the central bank’s vice chair.
Biden also nominated Adriana Kugler to a seat on the Federal Reserve Board, and announced he would renominate Fed Gov. Lisa Cook to an additional full 14-year term. Cook’s current term is set to expire in January.
If confirmed, Kugler would become the first Latina to sit on the Fed board. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-NJ, has stood as a vocal proponent of inclusion on that point, expressing his disappointment several times over the past year when candidates of Latin origin were passed over for leading roles in the Federal Reserve System.
Kugler serves as the World Bank’s U.S. executive director and is on leave from Georgetown University, where she has been a professor of public policy and economics since 2010. She also served as chief economist in the Labor Department from 2011 to 2013, and was a longtime research associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research, according to her LinkedIn profile. Kugler’s Fed term, if she is confirmed, would expire in January 2026.
Biden’s moves would also make Jefferson the first Black vice chair at the Fed, and the highest-ranking nonwhite person in the central bank’s history.
Jefferson would fill a role that has been vacant since Lael Brainard left the Fed’s No. 2 role in February to become director of the White House’s National Economic Council.
The Senate confirmed Jefferson and Cook to their current Fed governor roles a year ago this week — though Jefferson’s nomination saw much less pushback. He took his Fed seat with a 91-7 vote.
Cook, by contrast, received no Republican support and needed a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris to ascend to the Fed board.
At her nomination hearing in February 2022, some Republicans challenged Cook’s experience level with monetary policy. Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-TN, for one, said Cook’s academic background — with its emphasis on the cost of racial disparities — “doesn’t seem related to the mission of the Federal Reserve.”
In a statement Friday, Biden touched on the divisive politics that permeated last year’s Fed nominations.
“These nominees understand that this job is not a partisan one, but one that plays a critical role in pursuing maximum employment, maintaining price stability and supervising many of our nation’s financial institutions,” Biden said.
In further comments, Biden called Kugler a “highly qualified and respected economist with deep expertise in labor markets, worker mobility and youth employment,” and added that Jefferson and Cook would “continue to bring valuable insight, expertise and continuity to the Fed at a critical time for our economy and families across the country.”