Lisa Cook Becomes First Black Woman To Be Confirmed to the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors

The Senate confirmed economist Lisa Cook as the first Black woman to serve as a Federal Reserve governor yesterday.

Lisa Cook speaks before a confirmation hearing on February 3, 2022, in Washington, D.C. Credit: Getty Images
Lisa Cook speaks before a confirmation hearing on February 3, 2022, in Washington, D.C. Credit: Getty Images

The Senate confirmed economist Lisa Cook as the first Black woman to serve as a Federal Reserve governor yesterday, following a narrow, party-line vote of 50-51.

A number of Senate Republicans argued against Cook’s nomination, claiming that she was unqualified for the post and lacked experience. “Professor Cook has no proven expertise in monetary economics at all, much less fighting inflation,” Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said prior to voting.


“Professor Cook is a proven partisan who has promoted left-wing conspiracy theories and called for a fellow academic to be fired because that person did not support defunding the police,” he added.

Other political leaders expressed enthusiasm for Cook’s victory – New York City Mayor Eric Adams took to Twitter to share his reaction, writing, “Lisa Cook deserves her seat at this table. She’ll bring a long overdue voice to the Federal Reserve, one that fights for equity and better represents the people of our country.”

Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., also shared her thoughts on social media, saying in a Tweet, “She’s extremely qualified and highly skilled. She’s also a history maker whose time has come. Congratulations to my #Spelman sister, Dr. #LisaCook.”


 

Ultimately, Vice President Kamala Harris solidified Cook’s win with the tie-breaking vote.

Cook, who has been a professor in economics and international relations at Michigan State University since 2005, has a record dotted with notable accomplishments. She earned a doctorate in economics from the University of California, Berkeley, served as staff economist on the White House Council of Economics from 2011-2012, and advised President Biden’s transition team on bank policy.

Per CNN, the confirmation marks the second of Cook’s votes to break a filibuster, with the last one failing due to lack of Democrat attendance.