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Janet Yellen Fast Facts

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(CNN) — Here’s a look at the life of Janet Yellen, the first female Treasury secretary.


Birth date: August 13, 1946

Birth place: Brooklyn, New York

Birth name: Janet Louise Yellen

Father: Julius Yellen, doctor

Mother: Anna (Blumenthal) Yellen

Marriage: George Akerlof (1978-present)

Children: Robert

Education: Brown University, B.A. in Economics, 1967; Yale University, Ph.D. in Economics, 1971

Other Facts

Met her husband while they were both working at the Federal Reserve in 1977.

Her expertise is in macroeconomics and the mechanisms of unemployment.


1971-1976 Assistant professor at Harvard University.

1977-1978 Serves on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors as an economist.

1978-1980 – Lecturer at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

1980 Becomes a faculty member at the University of California at Berkeley.

1994-1997 Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

1997-1999 – Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, appointed by US President Bill Clinton.

1997-1999 – Chair of the Economic Policy Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

June 2001 “The Fabulous Decade: Macroeconomic Lessons from the 1990s,” a book co-written by Yellen and Alan S. Blinder, is published.

June 14, 2004 – Becomes president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Serves until 2010.

2007 – Throughout the year, Yellen gives numerous warnings regarding the housing market. The housing market crashes late in the year.

October 4, 2010 – Begins a four-year term as the vice chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, as well as a 14-year term as a board member.

September 8, 2013 – Heidi Hartmann, president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, circulates a letter to US President Obama requesting Yellen be nominated to serve as chair of the Federal Reserve. Within three days, the petition receives signatures from more than 300 economists.

October 9, 2013 – President Obama nominates Yellen to be the next chair of the Federal Reserve.

November 21, 2013 – The Senate Banking Committee votes 14-8 to send Yellen’s nomination on for consideration before the full Senate.

January 6, 2014 – The Senate votes 56-26 to confirm Yellen as chair of the Federal Reserve.

February 3, 2014 – Is sworn in as chair of the Federal Reserve. She is the first female head in the central bank’s 100-year history.

December 16, 2015 – Yellen holds a press conference to discuss the Fed’s interest rate hike, a move that “marks the end of an extraordinary period” of low rates to boost economic growth in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The Dow jumps 224 points, reflecting confidence in the economy.

November 2, 2017 – US President Donald Trump announces that Jay Powell will replace Yellen as the leader of the Federal Reserve System.

November 20, 2017 – Yellen tells President Trump in a letter that she will step down from the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors when her successor is sworn in as the new chairman.

February 5, 2018 – Yellen joins the Brookings Institution as a distinguished fellow in residence with the economic studies program.

July 31, 2018 – The Brookings Institution announces the launch of a business sector productivity measurement initiative with co-chairs Yellen, James Stock and Louise Sheiner.

November 30, 2020 – President-elect Joe Biden names key members of his economic team, with the long-expected announcement of Yellen as treasury secretary.

January 25, 2021 – The Senate votes 84-15 to confirm Yellen as secretary of the Treasury. She is the first woman in the history of the United States to hold the position.

April 5, 2021 – In her first major address as Treasury secretary, Yellen calls for a global minimum corporate tax rate.

June 16, 2021 – Yellen testifies before the US Committee on Finance on the budget proposal for the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan and inflation.

June 23, 2021 – Yellen testifies before the US Senate Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government for additional financial support for Treasury in relation to the budget proposal for the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan.

May 31, 2022 – Admits that she failed to anticipate how long high inflation would continue to plague American consumers. “As I mentioned, there have been unanticipated and large shocks to the economy that have boosted energy and food prices and supply bottlenecks that have affected our economy badly that I didn’t – at the time – didn’t fully understand, but we recognize that now,” she said.

December 8, 2022 – Yellen becomes the first woman Treasury secretary to have her signature on a US banknote. US Treasurer Lynn Malerba also signed the note, marking the first time the signatures of two women are featured on US currency.

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