Biden’s Fed nominees sworn into office

President Biden’s Federal Reserve nominees were sworn in Monday, nearly filling out the central bank’s board of governors as it battles a record surge of inflation.

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell, Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard, and board members Lisa Cook and Philip Jefferson began their terms Monday. The Senate confirmed the nominations of Powell, Cook and Jefferson earlier this month and confirmed Brainard in late April.

Powell, a Republican, will serve another four years leading the Fed board after being renominated by Biden in November. Powell was elevated to Fed chair by former President Trump in 2017 and joined the Fed in 2012 as a governor after being nominated by former President Obama.

Brainard, a Democrat, had served as a Fed governor since 2014 before Biden nominated her to serve as the bank’s No. 2 in November. While some Democratic lawmakers and progressive activists pushed Biden to nominate her over Powell, Biden opted to promote Brainard to the vice chair position instead.

Both Cook and Jefferson join the Fed from academic positions, the former departing from a professorship at Michigan State University and the latter from Davidson College, where he served a vice dean.

Cook also served as a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisors during the Obama administration and serves on the executive committee of the American Economic Association. Jefferson was an economist for the Fed board, an adviser to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and taught at Columbia University, the University of California, Berkeley and Swarthmore College before joining Davidson in 2019.

Powell and Brainard can serve in their roles as chair and vice chair through May 2026, but can remain on the Fed board after those terms end if they are not renominated. Powell’s term as a member of the Fed board does not end until January 2028, and Brainard can remain on the Fed board until May 2026.

Cook was nominated to finish the remainder of an unexpired term, which will run out in 2024. Jefferson’s term expires in January 2036, giving him nearly a full 14-year term as a governor.