Janet Yellen Becomes Federal Reserve Chair

Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet L. Yellen assumed the role of chair on February 1, succeeding Ben Bernanke, whose term began in February 2006. Yellen was appointed to a four-year term as Fed chair by President Barack Obama, and she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on January 6.

Yellen is the first woman to chair the Board of Governors.

She took office as vice chair on October 4, 2010, for a four-year term. Yellen simultaneously began a 14-year term as a member of the Board of Governors that will expire in January 2024. Before her appointment as vice chair, Yellen served as president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. She is professor emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley, where she has been on the faculty since 1980.

Yellen has written on a wide variety of macroeconomic issues, while specializing in the causes, mechanisms, and implications of unemployment.

When President Obama appointed Yellen last October, Bernanke said, "President Obama has made an outstanding choice in nominating my colleague and friend Janet Yellen to chair the Federal Reserve Board. Janet is exceptionally well qualified for the position, with stellar academic credentials and a strong record as a leader and a policymaker."

February 3, 2014