Democrats are still rallying hard for esteemed economist Dr. Lisa Cook to be appointed to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. If nominated, the win would be historic, making Cook the first Black woman to serve on the board within its 108-year history.
Despite Cook’s credibility Republicans are working fast to stop her nomination from moving forward. On April 26, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, who is also the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, urged Republicans to confirm Cook’s nomination.
Cook could be a huge asset to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors for a number of reasons. Marc Morial of the National Urban League previously told NewsOne that Cook’s nomination would bring a needed racial equity lens to a body that supervises and regulates banking and interest rates.
“The Federal Reserve Board of Governors is very influential,” Morial said. “It sets interest rates which are impacts everything we do in terms of whether it’s an automobile loan, home loan, personal loan or business loan.”
In a market where inflation will have a major impact on communities of color, Cook would bring a fresh perspective to the board, helping to develop strategies to relieve some of the financial implications for those at risk with her expertise. In the past, Cook has argued that eliminating disparities in race-based economics could help improve GDP growth tremendously.
“What’s at stake for this economy and the world economy if policymakers do not get this right and address these disparities?” Cook asked during a conference in February, according to CNBC. “The productive capacity of the United States and the world economy, higher living standards that should follow from sustained long-run growth, and greater stability that is consistent with less unequal societies.”
Cook is also more than qualified for the role. The macroeconomist is a professor of Economics and International Relations at Michigan State University. She is also the first Marshall Scholar from Spelman College and she received a second B.A. in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Oxford University after earning a Ph.D. in macroeconomics at the University of California at Berkeley among other notable achievements. Cook has published extensive articles exploring federal policies that can help financially advance communities of color and women in the United States.
In 2019, she was awarded the Impactful Mentor Award by the American Economic Association Mentoring Pipeline Program and was later elected to the Executive Committee of the American Economic Association to represent the Advisory Boards of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the National Science Foundation, and the Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
In addition to Cook, President Biden nominated Phillip Jefferson, a former Fed researcher and the dean of faculty at Davidson College in North Carolina. Morial said the confirmation of either candidate would bring diversity and inclusivity to the board’s white legacy.
“This is is quite significant that President Biden has three nominees to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, he’s chosen to nominate two African Americans,” Morial explained. “He’s chosen to reshape the Federal Reserve Board of Governors which has historically been the province of white men.”