Letters to Congress: Letter in Strong Support of the Nominations of Lisa Cook, Sarah Bloom Raskin, and Philip Jefferson to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors

View or download a PDF of the letter here.

February 2nd, 2022

The Honorable Sherrod Brown
503 Hart Senate Office Building
120 Constitution Avenue, NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

Dear Senator Brown,

We are leaders of organizations fighting for racial, social, economic, and climate justice in the U.S. and globally. We write in strong support of the nominations of Lisa Cook, Sarah Bloom Raskin, and Philip Jefferson to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. These nominees are committed to maintaining stability in our economy in the midst of the pandemic, encouraging economic growth that benefits all working people, and fighting the impacts of inflation, all while preserving the independence of the Fed.

Currently a professor of economics and international relations at Michigan State University, Dr. Cook’s government service and her expertise as an economist in public service, research, and academia will bring a vital new perspective to the Fed. As a senior economist on President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, Lisa Cook played a leading role in documenting the major economic issues in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. Dr. Cook’s extensive knowledge of the nuances of Black employment will provide much-needed input at the Fed in its efforts to achieve Chair Powell’s priority of broad maximum employment. She is a highly respected economist and has held visiting appointments at the National Bureau of Economic Research and four Federal Reserve Regional Banks, in addition to sitting on the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. When confirmed, Dr. Cook will be the first African-American woman to join the Federal Reserve Board.

Dr. Jefferson will also bring valuable experience and expertise. His research has focused on the effects of macroeconomic and monetary policy on employment, economic growth, poverty rates, and household finances—issues at the center of the Fed’s mandate. Dr. Jefferson has worked at the Fed twice, as an economist in the board’s monetary affairs division and as a research assistant in the fiscal analysis department. He has also worked with regional Fed banks in Minneapolis, Washington, and New York. Drs. Jefferson and Cook would help as Chair Powell examines the role of race in the Federal Reserve’s work.

A former Deputy Secretary of the Treasury and Fed Board governor, Sarah Bloom Raskin is an experienced public servant and bank supervisor, with a deep understanding of the supervisory process, who is also informed by her private sector experience. Bloom Raskin  was deeply involved in the response to the 2008 financial crisis and shoring up the nation’s critical financial infrastructure. In all of her public roles, Bloom Raskin has earned bipartisan praise for her competence, her willingness to take on tough problems, her ability to bring people together, and her attentiveness to the needs of small financial institutions. The Vice Chair for Supervision is vital to protecting the safety and soundness of individual banks and the stability of the financial system. Raskin is well-suited to look out for emerging risks to financial stability and determine how to respond to them, in addition to being versed in new potential threats such as climate change and cybersecurity. Her expertise on climate change and finance will help support Chair Powell’s commitment to prioritize this issue and advance the Fed’s mandate to protect financial stability.

We believe that these nominees’ depth of scholarship combined with bipartisan
experience and diverse coalition of supporters indicate that they would be powerful additions to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Please move to swiftly confirm this historic slate of nominees.