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U.S. President Taps Philip Jefferson to Be Fed's Vice Chair and Kugler as the Hispanic on Fed Board

May 15, 2023: President Joe Biden will nominate Federal Reserve Governor Philip Jefferson as vice director of the central bank’s board, the White House announced on Friday.

Though one of the recent members of the Board of Governors, Jefferson would bring over a key policymaking position when the Fed tried tending down inflation without causing a harmful recession.

Biden also said he would nominate Adriana Kugler for a vacant owner’s seat and Lisa Cook for one more term as governor. Kugler is currently the U.S. representing the World Bank and would be the initial Latina, while Cook has been on the board since 2022.

“These nominees that this job is not a partisan one, but that plays a critical role which pursues maximum employment, maintaining price to be stable, and supervising many of our nation’s financial institutions,” Biden stated. “I am confident these nominees will build upon the historically strong economic recovery under my Administration.”

The moves, needing Senate confirmation, come as the Fed navigates a banking crisis that has seen many regional institutions shuttered over the past two months.

The Senate stated Jefferson to the board in May 2022, four months after Biden nominated him.

Since taking his seat, Jefferson has been quiet on the policy front. In recent remarks, he has spoken against raising the Fed’s 2% inflation target and stated that he wasn’t apprehensive about the pace at which the economy is slowing. He has voted for each interest rate increase approved since he took his seat.

As vice chair, he takes a last-occupied position by Lael Brainard, now Biden’s director of the National Economic Council. Known as one of the many board members, Brainard argued against that loosens regulations for regional banks and advocated for the study of whether the Fed adopted a central bank digital currency.

Before entering the Fed, Jefferson was a lecturer of economics, vice president for academic affairs, and dean of faculty at Davidson College. He works as a professor at Columbia University and Swarthmore College and an economist for the Fed.

The nomination was not unanticipated; multiple media outlets had stated that Jefferson was Biden’s likely choice as vice chair.

Jefferson would be the double Black person to hold the vice chair position if confirmed. Cook is the initial Black woman to serve on the board.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown is applauding the nominations.

The representatives “reflect the vibrant diversity and the people who make it work,” Brown stated.

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