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Alumnae Stories

Alumna Lisa D. Cook Confirmed as Federal Reserve Governor

May 2022

Lisa CookAward-winning economist and Spelman alumna Lisa D. Cook, Ph.D., C'86, who is a macroeconomist on the faculty of Michigan State University, recently became the first Black woman to be confirmed as a Federal Reserve governor. 

"This achievement comes at a particularly auspicious time for Spelman," said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman College. "For the past several years, with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Dr. Cook has worked in partnership with the economics department, chaired by Marionette Holmes, Ph.D., to increase the number of Black women, who earn Ph.Ds. in economics. Dr. Cook is a stellar role model for our aspiring economists." 

Federal Reserve governors are nominated by the President of the United States and confirmed by the Senate for the remainder of the 14-year term of the seat previously held by Janet Yellen  As a Fed Governor, she will be charged with helping set and implement monetary policy in the United States.  From serving on the faculty of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, to serving 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 has amassed a broad range of experiences in academia, across the financial sector, and in economic policymaking. Dr. Cook, whose research interests include economic growth, innovation, and financial crises, has held senior positions across the federal government, first at the US Department of Treasury and then at the White House Council of Economic Advisers. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy (honors, magna cum laude) from Spelman, where she received the highly competitive Harry S. Truman Scholarship and the Charles E. Merrill Study Abroad Scholarship. She proceeded to St. Hilda's College at Oxford as Spelman's first Marshall Scholar, and she earned another B.A. in philosophy, politics, and economics in 1988.