When Dr. Janet Yellen, 67, is sworn in on February 1st as the next Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, she will become the first woman to hold that position as well as one of the most powerful women in the world.
A long-time, esteemed economics professor at Harvard, London School of Economics, and Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, Janet later served as the President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. She currently is Vice-Chairman of the Board of Governors.
In her new post, Janet will lead the Board in setting monetary policy and will oversee the country’s 12 regional reserve banks. She also will work with Congress and the Treasury Secretary. This puts her in a position to exert tremendous influence on economic strategy in the US, and subsequently, the world.
Janet earned her PhD in economics from Yale, which further puts her at an exalted level, since women account for only 34 percent of all economics PhDs. Besides her, only one other woman sits on the seven-member Federal Reserve Board.
Janet is married to George Akerlof, a Nobel prize-winning economist. Their son teaches Economics.