Black Talent Initiative

Dr. Philip Jefferson, Dr. Lisa Cook, and Dr. Adriana Kugler

Joint Center Commends President Biden for Strong, Diverse Federal Reserve Board Nominations

May 12, 2023

Victoria Johnson,, 202-789-3500

Joint Center Commends President Biden for Strong, Diverse Federal Reserve Board Nominations

In response to President Biden’s latest nominations to the Federal Reserve Board, the Joint Center released the following statement:

WASHINGTON — The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies applauds President Biden’s nominations of Dr. Philip Jefferson to serve as Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Dr. Lisa Cook to serve an additional full term, and Dr. Adriana Kugler to serve on the Board. If confirmed for the Vice Chair position, Dr. Jefferson will be the second Black Vice Chair of the Board (Roger W. Ferguson Jr. became the first in 1999). If confirmed, Dr. Kugler will be the first Latino on the Board. Dr. Cook, who was confirmed by the Senate to complete an unexpired term that concludes in January 2024, would serve a full 14-year term if confirmed.

“Thanks to President Biden’s nominations today, the Fed will be stronger and better equipped to curb inflation and maximize employment. The expertise and experience of these exceptional economists will be invaluable to the Fed in ensuring all Americans are considered when determining monetary policy. Dr. Cook’s groundbreaking macroeconomic research, Dr. Jefferson’s rigorous research on monetary policy’s impact on the labor market and inequality, and Dr. Kugler’s extensive work in the Obama Administration on government benefits to serve underserved communities are all essential to our economic recovery. These experiences deepen the Fed’s ability to consider the impact of its decisions on communities that are more adversely affected by inflation and often experience higher unemployment rates,” said Spencer Overton, president of the Joint Center. “While there is more work to be done in diversifying economic appointments, President Biden’s nominations today represent a historic step in maximizing economic growth by building an economy that works for all Americans. We are appreciative of President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Senate Banking Committee Chair Sherrod Brown (D-OH) for their leadership in the nominations of these outstanding candidates to serve on the Federal Reserve Board.”

The Joint Center continuously supported Dr. Jefferson and Dr. Lisa Cook throughout their original nomination and confirmation processes. As a result of the addition of Dr. Jefferson and Dr. Lisa Cook, for the first time in its then-108-year history the seven-member Fed board has two Black Governors. The Joint Center urges the Senate to swiftly confirm Dr. Jefferson as Vice Chair of the Board, Dr. Cook for a full term, and Dr. Kugler to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

About Dr. Philip Jefferson: Dr. Jefferson took office as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in May 2022. Prior to his appointment, he served as 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, 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 Dr. Lisa Cook: Dr. Lisa Cook is the first Black woman to become a member of the Federal Reserve Board. She 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. Prior to her appointment to the Board, Dr. Cook was a tenured professor at Michigan State University. She served 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 and in conversation with Joint Center President Spencer Overton in February 2023.

About Dr. Adriana Kugler: Dr. Adriana Kugler is a full professor at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy and Economics. She is currently on leave of absence and serving as the U.S. executive director of the World Bank. She served as chief economist of the U.S. Department of Labor during the Obama Administration between 2011 and 2013, where she worked actively on developing policies and proposals on unemployment insurance, training programs, retirement benefits, overtime pay and minimum wages, immigration, disability insurance, and occupational safety regulations. Prior to coming to Georgetown, she was a full and associate professor at the economics departments at the University of Houston and at University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona.

About the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies: 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.