Advance Notice: Briefs

MSU professor could become first Black woman on Federal Reserve Board

By: - January 19, 2022 1:04 pm

Michigan State University | Susan J. Demas

Michigan State University (MSU) economist and professor Lisa Cook has been nominated by President Joe Biden to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Cook will be the first Black woman to serve on the board in its 108-year history.

The Federal Reserve System consists of the Federal Reserve Bank, which is the central bank of the United States, and 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks. With the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, they conduct the nation’s monetary policy with the purpose of maintaining stability in the nation’s financial system.

Lisa Cook | Twitter

“I am grateful to President Biden for nominating me to serve on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System,” tweeted on Friday. “If confirmed, I would be honored to serve.”

Cook is a professor in the Department of Economics at MSU’s College of Social Science and a professor of international relations at the university’s James Madison College. 

“Lisa Cook is a remarkable economist and leader who will serve our nation well,” said MSU President Samuel Stanley Jr. “Her nomination embodies the excellence of our Spartan faculty as she is well on her way to shatter another glass ceiling as the first Black woman to serve on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.”

Since joining MSU in 2005, Cook has established herself internationally as a renowned economist. In 2021, she was elected to a three-year term on the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, a position she’ll resign if confirmed as a Federal Reserve governor. Cook also has been a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis Board of Directors, one of 11 independent regional cooperative banks across the United States.

The Milledgeville, Ga., native is from the same town that produced Motown Records founder Berry Gordy Jr.’s parents, Bertha and Berry Sr. Cook earned a bachelor’s Spelman College in Atlanta and earned a second bachelor’s degree in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford University. She later earned a doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, in macroeconomics and international economics. 

The first Black man to serve on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors was Andrew Brimmer, who also was an assistant professor at MSU’s Department of Economics from 1958 to 1961.

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Ken Coleman
Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman covers Southeast Michigan, economic justice and civil rights. He is a former Michigan Chronicle senior editor and served as the American Black Journal segment host on Detroit Public Television. He has written and published four books on black life in Detroit, including Soul on Air: Blacks Who Helped to Define Radio in Detroit and Forever Young: A Coleman Reader. His work has been cited by the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, History Channel and CNN. Additionally, he was an essayist for the award-winning book, Detroit 1967: Origins, Impacts, Legacies. Ken has served as a spokesperson for the Michigan Democratic Party, Detroit Public Schools, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters and U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence. Previously to joining the Advance, he worked for the Detroit Federation of Teachers as a communications specialist. He is a Historical Society of Michigan trustee and a Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit advisory board member.