Obama nominated Brainard to head Federal Reserve

By Carol Morello, CNN

The White House announced Monday President Barack Obama is nominating Lael Brainard as his choice to head the Federal Reserve’s powerful Board of Governors.

Obama made the selection in part, because the White House will be looking for consensus as it seeks ways to raise interest rates from record lows, a move the central bank has resisted.

If confirmed by the Senate, Brainard would become the first woman to lead the board. Obama also picked Elizabeth Duke, the current vice chair of the Board of Governors, to fill the spot left vacant when Janet Yellen was nominated as chair.

Other officials who have considered and turned down the position include former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and former Fed Vice Chair Donald Kohn.

Brainard, who was born in Seoul, South Korea, has served as undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs since April 2013, and has been deputy Treasury secretary since October 2008.

During her tenure at the Treasury, she has been involved in several major negotiations and efforts involving the world’s economies, including efforts to resolve the eurozone’s debt crisis, maintaining global financial stability, and efforts to improve access to financial services around the world.

She also served on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.

Other members of Obama’s economic team including Ben Bernanke and Larry Summers are departing their posts, ushering in an era of new leadership at the central bank.

Sen. Tim Johnson, D-South Dakota, who leads the Banking Committee, said in a statement he looks forward to hearing Brainard’s views on the global economy in the coming months and he encouraged her confirmation.

If confirmed by the Senate, Brainard would be the fifth woman to serve on the Fed Board. The last woman to serve on the Board of Governors was Gail Wilensky, who held the position from 1990 to 1994.

Prior to coming to the Treasury, Brainard served in leadership positions at investment bank Goldman Sachs and served as assistant secretary of the treasury for economic policy in the Clinton administration.

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