Janet Yellen named Fed chief, first woman in post

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Janet Yellen, the vice chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, was named the central bank’s chairwoman — the first woman to serve in the post.

President Obama made the announcement of Yellen’s ascension to Fed chief on Wednesday.

If confirmed by the Senate, Yellen would succeed Ben Bernanke and be the third consecutive Jewish economist to head the Federal Reserve. Bernanke, who is set to step down in January after serving since February 2006, had succeeded Alan Greenspan.

Obama had favored his first Treasury secretary, Lawrence Summers, for the job. Summers, who also is Jewish, pulled out because of opposition among Senate Democrats who blame his policies favoring deregulation for slowing the economic recovery.

Yellen and her husband, George Akerlof, a 2001 Nobel economics laureate, were active in the Bay Area Jewish community when Akerlof taught at the University of California, Berkeley.

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