Janet L. Yellen

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Janet Yellen
Janet Yellen.jpg
Occupation Chairman
Employer U.S. Federal Reserve Board
Location Washington, D.C.

Janet L. Yellen is chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board. She was confirmed by the Senate on January 6, 2014, making her the first woman to hold the post in the central bank's 100-year history.[1] She took over the chairmanship from Ben S. Bernanke, who served two four-year terms from 2006-2013. From 2010-2013, Yellen served as vice-chairman of the Federal Reserve.[2]

She was previously president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, beginning on June 14, 2004. In 2008, she served as an alternate voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).

Yellen has written on a wide variety of macroeconomic issues, while specializing in the causes, mechanisms and implications of unemployment.[3]

On March 19 2014, in her first statement at Federal Open Market Committee as Fed chairman, Yellen announced a $10 billion reduction to quantitative easing. It reduced monthly bond purchases to $ 55 billion. In addition, the Fed would cut monthly mortgage bond purchases to $ 25 billion from $ 30 billion, as well as treasury purchase from $30 billion a month from $ 35 billion. [4] Some financial journalists said Yellen’s first statement made a “gaffe” that rattling the markets. In addition, Yellen said the Fed would wait “something on the order of around six month” after quantitative easing ends before starting to raise rates. However other market participant said Yellen did not make a blunder and the market did not get terribly disturbed. [5]


Yellen is professor emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley where she was the Eugene E. and Catherine M. Trefethen Professor of Business and Professor of Economics and has been a faculty member since 1980. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. She also serves on the board of directors of the Pacific Council on International Policy, and in the recent past, she served as president of the Western Economic Association, vice president of the American Economic Association and was a Fellow of the Yale Corporation.

She also took leave from Berkeley for five years starting August 1994 and served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System through February 1997, under then-chairman Alan Greenspan. She also chaired the Economic Policy Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development from 1997 to 1999.[6]

Yellen later left the Fed to become chair of the Council of Economic Advisers through August 1999. She has also served on the Panel of Economic Advisers for the Congressional Budget Office and as senior adviser to the Brookings Panel on Economic Activity.

An assistant professor at Harvard University from 1971 to 1976, Yellen served as an economist with the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors in 1977 and 1978, and on the faculty of the London School of Economics and Political Science from 1978 to 1980.


Yellen graduated summa cum laude from Brown University with a degree in Economics in 1967, and received her Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University in 1971. She received the Wilbur Cross Medal from Yale in 1997, an honorary doctor of laws degree from Brown in 1998, and an honorary doctor of humane letters from Bard College in 2000.


  1. Yellen Wins Backing of Senators to Lead Fed. NY Times.
  2. San Francisco Fed Names Moore Interim Chief to Succeed Yellen. Bloomberg.
  3. Janet L. Yellen. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
  4. Fed Cuts Monthly Asset Purchases To $55 Billion Maintaining Taper Pace, Market Awaits Yellen Remarks. Forbes.
  5. Janet Yellen didn’t gaffe. Reuters.
  6. Dr. Janet L. Yellen, Chair Council of Economic Advisers: Biography. Federal Reserve.