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Janet Yellen tipped as ‘first US female treasury secretary’

INTERNATIONAL DESK: President-elect Joe Biden is expected to name Janet Yellen to lead the treasury department, US media report, BBC reports.

If confirmed by the Senate, she would be the first woman to hold the position in US history.

The 74-year-old economist previously served as head of America’s central bank and as a top economics adviser to former President Bill Clinton.

She is credited with helping steer the economic recovery after the 2007 financial crisis and ensuing recession.

As chair of the US Federal Reserve, Ms Yellen was known for focusing more attention on the impact of the bank’s policies on workers and the costs of America’s rising inequality.

Donald Trump bucked Washington tradition when he opted not to appoint Ms Yellen to a second four-year term at the Fed. Starting with Bill Clinton in the 1990s, presidents kept on bank leaders appointed by their predecessors in an effort to de-politicise the bank.

Since leaving the bank in 2018, Ms Yellen has spoken out about climate change and the need for Washington to do more to shield the US economy from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Who is Janet Yellen?

The daughter of a family doctor and an elementary school teacher, she grew up in New York City. She earned her degree in economics from Brown University, before going on to complete a PhD at Yale.

In addition to her work at the Fed and in government, she was a professor at University of California, Berkeley.

She is married to George Akerlof, a Nobel Prize-winning economist whom she met while working as a researcher at the Fed in the 1970s. They have one son, who is also an economics professor.

Her climb to the top of the economics profession also made her a feminist icon in the economics world.

When she left the Fed in 2018, many paid tribute to her leadership by imitating her signature look of a blazer with a popped collar.

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