Janet L. Yellen took office as chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in February 2014, for a four-year term ending February 3, 2018. She was succeeded by Jerome Powell.
Yellen graduated summa cum laude from Brown University with a degree in economics in 1967. She received her doctorate in economics from Yale University in 1971. From 1971 to 1976, she was an assistant professor at Harvard University. From 1977 to 1978, she worked for the Board of Governors as an economist, before joining the faculty of the London School of Economics and Political Science (1978–80).
Yellen is professor emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley, where she has been a faculty member since 1980. During her time there, she was also the Eugene E. and Catherine M. Trefethen Professor of Business and Professor of Economics.
Yellen took leave from Berkeley for five years starting in August 1994. She served as a member of the Board of Governors until February 1997 and then left the Board to become chair of the Council of Economic Advisers through August 1999. She also chaired the Economic Policy Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development from 1997 to 1999. Yellen served as president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (2004–10) as well as vice chair of the Board of Governors (2010-14) before her appointment as chair.
Yellen is a member of both the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has served as president of the Western Economic Association, vice president of the American Economic Association, and a fellow of the Yale Corporation.
She has received a number of academic honors during her career. These include 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.
Yellen has written on a wide variety of macroeconomic issues, while specializing in the causes, mechanisms, and implications of unemployment.
Yellen is married and has an adult son.
Written by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. See disclaimer.