Press Release

Black Economic Alliance Lauds The Historic Nomination Of Lisa Cook And Philip Jefferson to the Federal Reserve Board Of Governors

By Black Economic Alliance |
Dr. Lisa Cook and Dr. Philip Jefferson
Dr. Lisa Cook and Dr. Philip Jefferson


Media Contacts
Stephanie Báez

Victoria Dellacava

This nomination follows the Black Economic Alliance’s call to appoint multiple Black candidates to Federal Reserve leadership

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (January 14, 2022) The Black Economic Alliance (BEA), a nonpartisan group of Black business leaders, applauds President Joe Biden for nominating Dr. Lisa Cook and Dr. Philip Jefferson to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. 

Last fall, the Black Economic Alliance and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies organized a coordinated campaign among several Black-led organizations launched by a joint letter emphasizing the immediate need to appoint several well-qualified Black candidates to the Federal Reserve leadership to counteract the longstanding absence of Black representation at the Federal Reserve. BEA commends President Biden for heeding this call to action and working to right a longtime wrong.  

“These historic appointments represent material progress toward building a more inclusive and resilient financial system that will advance Black economic mobility,” said David Clunie, Executive Director of the Black Economic Alliance. “It’s about time that we place more professionals with the lived and professional experience of Black Americans in leadership at the Federal Reserve to steer policy, practices, and regulation that will help create a more inclusive economy and proactively close the racial wealth gap. We urge the Senate to swiftly confirm Dr. Cook and Dr. Jefferson.” 

Since the Federal Reserve was created by Congress in 1913, only three Black people have been selected to the nearly 100 appointments to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Dr. Lisa Cook would be the first Black woman to serve on the Federal Reserve Board. Should Dr. Cook and Dr. Jefferson be confirmed, alongside President Biden’s nominee to be Vice Chair for Supervision, Sarah Bloom Raskin, the Fed Board will for the first time have more than one Black governor and will be majority women. 

“I am proud that BEA’s advocacy and proactive engagement with the Biden Administration helped produce this historic outcome,” said Dr. Tony Coles, Co-Chair of BEA; Executive Chairman and CEO of Cerevel Therapeutics. “President Biden heard the strong, unified call to action from our community, and responded by selecting two imminently qualified, accomplished Ph.D. economists who also happen to be Black.” 

“These nominations bring much-needed perspective to the Federal Reserve’s critical work rapidly responding to the tumultuous circumstances of today to provide critical support to markets and the entire economy,” said Charles Phillips, Co-Chair of BEA; Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Recognize. “We look forward to working with these nominees, and the entire Fed board, to make the American financial system more inclusive and accessible for all.” 

Dr. Cook is one of the country’s most esteemed macroeconomists as well as an international authority on banking systems, economic growth, innovation, markets, and global finance. Among her many accomplishments, Dr. Cook is a tenured professor at Michigan State University and serves on the Board of Directors of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis and the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Dr. Cook’s outstanding experience in banking, finance, economic, and policy circles would help close the gap between Main Street and Wall Street, ensuring the country’s financial system delivers for all stakeholders. She has also been a supporter of the Joint Center’s work. Dr. Cook talked about economic policy with Color of Change President Rashad Robinson at the Joint Center’s Future of Black Communities Leadership Summit in December 2020. 

Dr. Jefferson is the chief academic officer at Davidson College in North Carolina. He holds the Paul B. Freeland endowed professorship in economics at Davidson and an endowed professorship at Swarthmore. Dr. Jefferson has taught at Columbia University and the University of Virginia, in addition to Swarthmore, and worked as a visiting research economist at the University of California, Berkeley. He served as an economist for the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors in Washington and the Federal Reserve Bank in New York


About the Black Economic Alliance 

The Black Economic Alliance is a coalition of Black business leaders and allies committed to driving economic progress for the Black community through public policy, advocacy, and engagement with government and business leaders. Led by a board that includes executives from a range of industries including media, finance, pharmaceutical, nonprofit, and tech, BEA uses its collective power and business acumen to advance policies that will improve work, wages, and wealth for Black Americans. |