DPIR alumna Professor Lisa Cook is first African American woman to serve as a Governor of the Federal Reserve

DPIR alumna Professor Lisa Cook (1986, BA PPE) has made history after being elected the first female African American member of the Federal Reserve Board.

The Professor of Economics and International Relations at Michigan State University was approved for the position by a single vote, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the decisive vote.

President Biden nominated her to the Board in January this year but her confirmation was delayed in the Senate due to Republican opposition.

Professor Cook’s current research interests include economic growth and development, innovation, financial institutions and markets, and economic history. She is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and is the author of several published articles, book chapters, and working papers. She is also on the Board of Editors of the Journal of Economic Literature.

She served at the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President Obama and had visiting appointments at the National Bureau of Economic Research, the University of Michigan, and the Federal Reserve Banks of New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Philadelphia.

In addition to her new role as a Governor of the Federal Reserve, she currently serves on the Advisory Boards of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (Academic Advisory Council).

"The Fed Board needs governors who understand how the economy works for Americans across race, gender and class, and Dr Cook’s deep expertise makes her exceptionally qualified to serve," said Michelle Holder, president of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, in a comment to Reuters.