Press Release Economic Policy Government

CEPR Statement in Support of the Nomination of Dr. Lisa Cook to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors

January 25, 2022

Contact: KL Conner, 202-281-4159Mail_Outline

Washington DC — The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) has long called on the Federal Reserve policy makers to use all tools at their disposal to fully realize the Fed’s dual mandate of full employment as well as price stability. Dr. Lisa Cook’s academic and policy experience makes her eminently qualified to serve on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. CEPR is pleased to support her nomination.  

On January 13, President Joe Biden nominated economist Dr. Lisa Cook for one of the three open seats on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. CEPR welcomes this announcement. If confirmed, Dr. Cook will bring expertise in economics and extensive experience in government service to the Fed.

Dr. Cook is eminently qualified for a position on the Fed Board. She holds degrees from Spelman College and Oxford University in philosophy, politics and economics. She earned a PhD in economics from the University of California, Berkeley. Currently she is a Professor at Michigan State University, where she holds appointments in the university’s Department of Economics and its James Madison College Department of International Relations. Earlier in her career Dr. Cook spent five years as Visiting Assistant Professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Her expertise as an economist has led to visiting positions at the National Bureau of Economic Research and at the Federal Reserve Banks of New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Philadelphia. Her work on innovation as exemplified in her seminal article “Violence and Economic Growth: Evidence from African American Patents, 1870-1940” and her contribution for the Brookings Institution, “Policies to Broaden Participation in the Innovation Process” have earned her recognition as a Fellow at the US Patent and Trademark Office.  During the Obama administration she was a Senior Economist at the Council of Economic Advisers where, among other research, she provided documentation of racial wealth gaps.

Dr. Cook’s many awards and appointed or elected positions speak to the high regard in which economists hold her. That high regard is readily apparent in this small sampling of the honors she has received:

·       She is a member of the American Economic Association’s (AEA) Executive Committee and its Committee on Equity, Diversity, and Professional Conduct.

·       She received an award from the AEA for mentoring graduate students.

·       She was elected President of the National Economic Association in 2015–2016.

·       In 2021, she was elected to membership in the National Academy of Social Insurance.

There is no question that Dr. Cook is more than qualified to serve on the Federal Reserve Bank Board of Governors. She would be the first Black woman to hold this position. She brings extensive knowledge of the economics of race and gender gaps in earnings and wealth. She will be an important voice as the Fed pursues its goal of broadly shared full employment. Federal Reserve Board Chair Jay Powell has made clear his commitment to consider the impact of Fed policies on the joblessness of Black workers. Dr. Cook would make a valuable contribution to this endeavor.   

The Fed needs the perspective that Dr. Cook brings precisely because families are still struggling through the pandemic and Black communities and communities of color continue to be hit the hardest. The economy still faces headwinds and Fed policy is an important tool of financial stabilization. All working people can count on Dr. Cook to protect their interests as the Fed debates policy alternatives.

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