February 3, 2022

350.org Urges Senate to Confirm Biden’s Slate of Federal Reserve Nominees

Washington, DC —  Today, the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee will conduct the hearings of President Biden’s nominees to the Federal Reserve: Sarah Bloom Raskin for Vice Chair of Supervision, and  Lisa Cook and Phillip Jefferson for the remaining  vacancies on the Federal Board of Governors.

Bloom Raskin has extensive experience in public policy and financial regulation, most recently as the first female Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department in the Obama administration. She is a consistent and vocal advocate of financial protection. Bloom Raskin has been a leader in identifying climate change as a clear threat to financial stability.

Cook is a distinguished labor market economist with unparalleled expertise on racial disparities. As a member of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, Cook played a leading role in  documenting racial wealth gaps and the effects of foreclosures during the Great Recession. Cook will be the first Black woman who has ever been appointed to the Federal Reserve Board.

Jefferson previously worked as an economist for the Federal Reserve’s board of governors, as well as for the New York Fed. His research has focused on inequality, how business cycles affect poverty rates, and the role of education as a shield against unemployment. If appointed, Mr. Jefferson would be the fourth Black man to hold the position in the central bank’s more than 100-year history. 

Activists have been calling for Biden to nominate a Federal Reserve Chair and board representatives who will account for climate risk. 350.org is pushing for a Federal Reserve that steers the economy away from high-risk fossil fuel investments, incorporates climate stress tests across policies and lending, and prioritizes racial justice, including through full employment.

Brooke Harper, 350 U.S. Campaign Manager made the following statement on the nominations:

“The Senate Banking Committee has an enormous opportunity today to listen to the testimonies of a slate of nominees who will bring serious skill, competence, and experience to the Federal Reserve. Combined, we believe that Lael Brainard as Federal Reserve vice chair, along with Sarah Bloom Raskin, Lisa Cook, and Phillip Jefferson are a strong ensemble that can reinforce the critical independence of the Federal Reserve, while at the same time bring long overdue diversity of thought, experience, and perspective to the Board of Governors.

“The Federal Reserve is at a critical juncture where it must have the expertise to tackle the compound crisis of COVID, inflation and unemployment, and the realities of the climate crisis in our communities. This slate of nominees can get the Federal Reserve back to work and address these serious crises through smart regulation. 

In addition, it is past due for the Federal Reserve to reflect the diversity of our nation, and the nominations of Cook and Jefferson, two Black economists who have essential skills in economic equity are needed. These nominations come at a critical time as the Federal Reserve’s decision on how to balance inflation and unemployment could have ripple effects on Black wealth for generations to come. 

“We believe that this slate of nominees are critical to the success of the Federal Reserve and the role it plays to protect peoples’ interests. We urge the Senate to confirm these highly qualified economic champions. 


For more on the Fossil Free Federal Reserve campaign, explore: linktr.ee/fossilfreefed

Press Contact: Thanu Yakupitiyage, [email protected]