Yellen makes Fed history
THE United States Senate's approval on Monday of Dr Janet Yellen to lead the US Federal Reserve puts a woman at the head of the world's most powerful central bank for the first time.
Few doubt her qualifications to take on the job of shepherding the US economy back to sustained growth, after the deep damage done by the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009.
The veteran economist has done long service both as an academic and at the Fed, serving as vice-chair and a close ally to the outgoing chairman, Dr Ben Bernanke, for the past four years.
She was as much a part of the Fed's programme to boost growth to reduce joblessness as he was, and has been a key driver of the recent push to make its intentions more clear to the public.
Practically 100 years to the day from when the Federal Reserve was created, the central bank finally has its first woman president," said Ms Terry O'Neill, president of the National Organization for Women. "It's about time."
When nominating Dr Yellen in October, President Barack Obama called her "exceptionally qualified" for what he said was one of the most important jobs in the world. He cited her record of having "sounded the alarm early" about the housing and financial bubble that led to the 2008-2009 recession.
Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown said: "It's more important than ever that we have strong regulators like Janet Yellen...who isn't afraid to act when they find abuses that put Americans at risk."
At 67, Dr Yellen has built a strong reputation as an academic economist, teaching at the University of California at Berkeley.
Her family is a mini-economic think-tank. Husband George Akerlof is a winner of the Nobel Prize in economics, and is Senior Resident Scholar at the International Monetary Fund. Their son, Dr Robert Akerlof, is an assistant professor of economics at the University of Warwick.