Milledgeville Native Confirmed to Fed Board

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Milledgeville native, Lisa D. Cook is making history.

The United States Senate confirmed President Joe Biden’s nomination of Lisa DeNell Cook to the Federal Reserve Board.

Cook is the first Black woman to serve on the body that oversees U.S. monetary policy and the nation’s 12 federal reserve banks.

Vice President Kamala Harris cast the deciding vote to break a 50-50 party-line tie in the Senate.

Cook is a professor of economics and international relations at Michigan State University.

As an academic, Cook’s research includes economic growth and development, innovation, financial institutions and markets and economic history. Her past teaching positions include time at Harvard and Stanford universities.

Appointment to the Federal Reserve Board is not Cook’s first experience in public service. She served on the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President Barack Obama and currently is a Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

In a nomination hearing earlier in February, Cook credited her call to service to the experiences of her childhood.

“My convictions are shaped by my upbringing in Milledgeville, Georgia,” she said. “It was a desegregating south, and both sides of my family were promoting nonviolent change alongside our family friend, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. While my sisters Pamela and Melanie and I were integrating our schools and pools, my parents were integrating their places of work.”

The Cook family name is a familiar one in Milledgeville. The Cook building at Central State Hospital is named after Cook’s father, the Reverend Payton B. Cook. And her mother, Mary Murray Cook integrated Georgia College’s faculty corps.

Cook joins the Federal Reserve Board at a time of anxiety over the nation’s economy. The board has twice raised interest rates this year to combat the highest rate of inflation in forty years. Last Week, Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the board will consider further interest rate hikes in the coming months.