Janet Yellen is expected to support the United States’ recovery from the economic shock produced by the ongoing health crisis that has claimed countless American lives, driven thousands of businesses to bankruptcy, and left over 20 million people unemployed.
As treasury secretary, she will be asked to comply with the ex-vice president’s promise to reduce the economic inequalities between social groups. Being in charge of an office that oversees tax policy and international finance, she will be expected to administer personnel of approximately 87,000 people and a budget of nearly £15 bn. Yellen, repeatedly having proven to be the excellent candidate, has earned the respect of both the Democratic and Republican Party during her extensive career. She is the hope to which every struggling American is holding on to.
A New York City native, in 1967 she graduated summa cum laude from Brown University with a degree in economics. Four years later, she attained her PhD in economics from Yale University where she was the only woman in her class. After graduation, she immediately became an assistant professor at Harvard University until 1976. A year later, from 1977 to 1978, she was employed as an economist for the Board of Governors before joining the London School of Economics and Political Science from 1978 to 1980.
Yellen has been a faculty member at the University of California at Berkley since 1980. However, in August 1994, she took a leave from UC Berkley to work as a member of the Board of Governors and left in February 1997 to serve as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers until August 1999. Between jobs, she participated as chairwoman of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in the Economic Policy Committee. Her extensive work and dedication has granted her several academic honours, such as the Wilbur Cross Medal from Yale in 1997 and an honorary doctor of humane letters from Bard College in 2000.
Between 2004 and 2010 she acted as the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s chief executive officer and president. That was before Obama appointed her as the first chairwoman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in February 2014. She was then succeeded by Jerome Powell after Donald Trump decided to break a presidential tradition by not appointing Yeller to another four-year term. A tradition that started with President Clinton in the 1990s, which ensured a nonpartisan and de-centralised bank.
Impressively enough, Yellen was one of the first economists to predict the financial crisis of 2008. Furthermore, the economic policymaker was credited with guiding the country’s recovery from the Great Recession. At the time, she took a less aggressive approach by raising the Federal interest rates, and focusing on employment rates; an approach which made her well-liked on Wall Street in spite of being heavily criticised. Through the enforcement of a leadership centred around employment rates, Yellen has written many macroeconomic issues specialising in causes, mechanisms, and implications of unemployment. Her economic passion truly reflects in the 2.6 % decreased unemployment rate she left once she was retired from the Federal Reserve; a decreased rate not seen since World War II.
This woman, with her impressive curriculum and lengthy career of breaking the glass ceiling, has appointed her as a top economist and the go-to policymaker. A true inspiration for working women across the world. With many comparing her leadership style to that of Mary Poppins, very resourceful; prepared and yet firmly kind, she is considered the steady hand needed in these difficult times according to, former Goldman Sachs executive and economic adviser to Donald Trump, Gary Cohn.