Lael Brainard named as Fed vice chair

Image caption Brainard has extensive international experience at the Treasury

Lael Brainard has been named as vice chair of the Federal Reserve.

She is currently a research fellow in global economics at the Council on Foreign Relations and previously worked as a Treasury official.

“Lael Brainard is an outstanding choice for the vice chair position,” treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

“I am delighted that Lael has agreed to take on a key leadership role at the Federal Reserve.”

Ms Brainard would take up the new position on 1 April, the US treasury said.

She will report directly to Fed chairman Jerome Powell, who took over from Janet Yellen as head of the US central bank in February.

Longtime ally

Earlier this week, Mr Mnuchin said there would be “a handful” of people announced as new Fed members by the end of January.

In her research and policymaking roles, Ms Brainard has worked extensively with former Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner, who was her boss from 2009 to 2013.

Despite her close relations with Mr Geithner, however, some see Ms Brainard as a long-time ally of Hillary Clinton, a sign of her potential liberal leanings.

When she was part of the Obama administration, Ms Brainard was chief economist for the Treasury.

After retiring from Treasury in 2014, she helped lead a left-leaning campaign called Demos that aimed to win more fair economic conditions.

When pressed by journalists on the idea that Ms Brainard could be a potential candidate for a higher-ranking position in a Clinton administration, a spokesman for Ms Brainard flatly rejected the suggestion.

Ms Brainard has experience working in the City of London as well as in the financial sector, the BBC’s North America editor Justin Webb says.

The US Treasury’s official website describes her as “widely respected” for her expertise in financial policy.

“Her impact is felt in virtually every part of the policymaking decision-making process in the US. She brings deep knowledge of global economic institutions, has worked with leading policymakers in many countries, and has emerged as an influential voice at the highest levels,” the US Treasury says.

Leave a Comment