Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell was formally sworn in to begin his second four-year term as head of the U.S. central bank, the Fed said in a statement.
Also sworn in were Lael Brainard as the Fed’s new vice chair, and the two newest members of the Board of Governors, Philip Jefferson and Lisa Cook, who are both Black economists.
Cook is the first Black woman ever to serve on the Fed’s board. This is also the first time the Fed will have had more than one Black policymaker at the same time.
Powell was nominated for his first term as Fed chief by former President Donald Trump, then was chosen by President Joe Biden last November to serve another four years.
The U.S. Senate voted on May 12 to confirm Powell to the post with bipartisan backing. Powell has served on the Fed’s Board of Governors since 2012.
Powel and the Fed are facing a hard challenge to tame the highest inflation in four decades without tipping the economy into recession. Powell has promised to keep pushing on rate hikes until inflation starts dropping.
Six of the seven seats on the Fed’s board are filled just weeks before the central bank’s June 14-15 policy meeting, at which it is expected to raise its benchmark lending rate by half a percentage point.