Lisa Cook Becomes the First Black Woman Appointed to the Federal Reserve’s Board

Lisa Reserve. Image: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Lisa Cook has made history as the first Black woman to be appointed to the Federal Board of Governors, the Associated Press reports.

Along with Cook, President Joe Biden nominated Sarah Bloom Raskin, a former Fed and Treasury official, and Phillip Jefferson, dean of faculty at Davidson College in North Carolina and a former Fed researcher.

If confirmed by the Senate, the three nominees would fill out the remaining seats in the Fed’s seven-member board.

As a Fed governor, Cook would “vote on interest-rate policy decisions at the eight meetings each year of the Fed’s policy making committee, which also includes the 12 regional Fed bank presidents.”

Since 2005, Cook had been a professor of economics and international relations at Michigan State and was a staff economist on the White House Council of Economic Advisers from 2011 to 2012. Also, she was an adviser to the Biden-Harris transition team on the Fed and bank regulatory policy.

Cook is widely known in economic circles for her research on the impact of racial violence on the innovation and invention of Black people. In a 2013 paper, she argued that “racially motivated violence, by undermining the rule of law and threatening personal security, depressed patent awards to Black Americans by 15% annually between 1882 and 1940.” Her research concluded that the loss was also discovered in the broader U.S. economy.

See Also

An advocate for Black women in the field of economics, Cook co-wrote a column titled “Racism Impovershies the Whole Economy” in The New York Times, contending that “economics is neither a welcoming nor a supportive profession for women” and “is especially antagonistic to Black women

Cook and Jefferson would be the fourth and fifth Black governors in the Fed’s 108-year history—and, for the first time, a majority of the Fed’s board members would be women.


Sign up for the EBONY Newsletter


Sign up for the EBONY Newsletter

When you sign up for the EBONY newsletter, you’ll be the first to know about all the latest news and updates that are important to you. Gain access to exclusive interviews, videos, special events, and product giveaways delivered right to your inbox!