Black Talent Initiative

Dr. Lisa Cook and Dr. Philip Jefferson

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System: Joint Center Commends President Biden for the Nominations of Dr. Lisa Cook and Dr. Philip Jefferson

The selection comes on the heels of our urging the president to appoint multiple Black candidates to the Fed


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Joint Center President Spencer Overton issued the following statement today in support of President Biden’s nomination of Dr. Lisa D. Cook and Dr. Philip Jefferson to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System:

“We applaud President Biden’s historic nomination of Dr. Lisa D. Cook and Dr. Philip Jefferson — two outstanding and experienced economists — to serve on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. We are thrilled that President Biden is working to ensure that the leadership of the Federal Reserve has the expertise to grow an economy that works for all Americans. We urge the Senate to swiftly confirm Dr. Cook and Dr. Jefferson. While we celebrate these nominations, they do not diminish our call for another history-making appointment: a Black chair of a federal regulatory agency.”

The Joint Center and Black Economic Alliance organized a letter to President Biden that was signed by several other Black-led organizations in November that highlighted the immediate need for his administration to appoint multiple Black candidates to the Federal Reserve leadership. If confirmed, Dr. Cook would become the first Black woman to serve on the Federal Reserve Board. Dr. Jefferson would be the fourth Black man out of nearly 100 appointments on the Federal Reserve since it was created by Congress in 1913 (the first was former Joint Center board member Dr. Andrew Brimmer).

About Dr. Lisa Cook: Dr. Cook is one of the country’s most esteemed macroeconomists as well as an international authority on banking systems, economic growth, innovation, markets and global finance. Among her many accomplishments, Dr. Cook is a tenured professor at Michigan State University and serves on the Board of Directors of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis and the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Dr. Cook’s outstanding experience in banking and finance and economic and policy circles would help close the gap between Main Street and Wall Street, ensuring the country’s financial system delivers for all stakeholders. She has also been a supporter of the Joint Center’s work. Dr. Cook talked about economic policy at the Joint Center’s Future of Black Communities Leadership Summit in December 2020.

About Dr. Philip Jefferson: Dr. Jefferson is the chief academic officer at Davidson College in North Carolina. He holds the Paul B. Freeland endowed professorship in economics at Davidson and an endowed professorship at Swarthmore. Dr. Jefferson has taught at Columbia University and the University of Virginia, in addition to Swarthmore, and worked as a visiting research economist at the University of California, Berkeley. He served as an economist for the Federal Reserve’s board of governors in Washington and for the Federal Reserve Bank in New York.

About the Joint Center: The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, America’s Black think tank, provides compelling and actionable policy solutions to eradicate persistent and evolving barriers to the full freedom of Black people in America. We are the trusted forum for leading experts and scholars to participate in major public policy debates and promote ideas that advance Black communities. We use evidence-based research, analysis, convenings, and strategic communications to support Black communities and a network of allies.

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