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Janet Yellen
Janet Yellen official Federal Reserve portrait.jpg
78th United States Secretary of the Treasury
Taking office
President Joe Biden
Succeeding Steven Mnuchin
15th Chair of the Federal Reserve
In office
February 3, 2014 – February 3, 2018
President Barack Obama
Donald Trump
Deputy Stanley Fischer
Preceded by Ben Bernanke
Succeeded by Jerome Powell
Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve
In office
October 4, 2010 – February 3, 2014
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Donald Kohn
Succeeded by Stanley Fischer
Member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors
In office
October 4, 2010 – February 3, 2018
President Barack Obama
Donald Trump
Preceded by Mark W. Olson
Succeeded by Vacant
In office
August 12, 1994 – February 17, 1997
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Wayne Angell
Succeeded by Edward Gramlich
President of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
In office
June 14, 2004 – October 4, 2010
Preceded by Robert Parry
Succeeded by John Williams
18th Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers
In office
February 18, 1997 – August 3, 1999
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Joseph Stiglitz
Succeeded by Martin Baily
Personal details
Janet Louise Yellen

August 13, 1946 (1946-08-13) (age 75)
Brooklyn, New York City, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) George Akerlof
Children 1
Education Brown University (AB)
Yale University (MA, PhD)

Janet Louise Yellen (born August 20, 1946) is an American economist and professor. She is a Democrat.

Yellen is the first person in American history to lead the three most powerful economic bodies in the Federal government of the United States: the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, and the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Early life and education

Janet yellen swearing in 2010
Yellen being sworn in by Federal Chairman Ben Bernanke in October 2010

Yellen was born to a Polish Jewish family in New York City's Brooklyn borough, as the daughter of Anna Ruth (née Blumenthal; 1907–1986), an elementary school teacher and Julius Yellen (1906–1975), a family physician, who worked from the ground floor of their home.

She graduated from Fort Hamilton High School in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn as a valedictorian. She then graduated from Pembroke College in Brown University with a degree in economics in 1967. She received her Ph.D. in economics from Yale University in 1971. Two dozen economists earned their Ph.D from Yale in 1971, but Yellen was the only woman in that doctoral class.


She was the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve System in the Clinton administration.

In October 2013, President Barack Obama nominated Yellen to be first female Chair of the Federal Reserve. She replaced Ben Bernanke. She chaired the Federal Reserve from February 3, 2014 until February 5, 2018. In November 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Federal Reserve Board of Governors member Jerome Powell to replace Yellen.

In November 2020, President-elect Joe Biden nominated Yellen to be the next United States Secretary of the Treasury. If confirmed by the United States Senate, she will be the first woman to be Treasury secretary.

Personal life

She was born in Brooklyn, New York City, and has a Jewish background. She is married to Nobel Prize winning economist George A. Akerlof and has one son, Robert, born in June 1981.

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