Janet Yellen, Secretary of Treasury

Janet Yellen

Secretary of Treasury

Janet Louise Yellen was born in August 1946 in Brooklyn, New York. She earned an undergraduate degree in economics with honors from Pembroke College in Brown University. She received a Ph.D. in economics from Yale University.

She was appointed assistant professor of economics at Harvard University where she taught for six years. She was recruited to become an economist with the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and was assigned to research international monetary reform. She met her husband while she was at the Federal Reserve, and he had already accepted a teaching position at the London School of Economics. Yellen left her position to accompany him and was employed as an economics lecturer by the London School. They returned to the U.S. two years later, and Yellen joined the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, to conduct macroeconomics research and teach M.B.A. and undergraduate students. She remains a professor emerita at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

Yellen was appointed by President Clinton as a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. She was confirmed by the Senate and served in that position for 30 months. She left that post to become chair of President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers. At the end of President Clinton’s administration, she returned to Berkeley.

In 2004, Yellen was chosen as president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank in San Francisco and was a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee. In 2010, President Obama nominated Yellen as vice-chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. She was confirmed by a voice vote of the Senate. Three years later, she was nominated to be Chair of the Federal Reserve.

After eight years, Yellen joined the Brookings Institution think tank as a distinguished fellow in residence.

She was nominated to be the Secretary of the Treasury by then president-elect Joe Biden. Confirmed by the Senate, she is the first woman to hold that position.

She is married to George Akerlof and they have one child. She is Jewish.

In the News…

As part of the efforts of President Biden’s administration to thaw in relationships with China, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen traveled to Beijing today. Her trip is a follow-up to that of Secretary of State Antony Blinken who spent two days there in June. 

Last month, Secretary Yellen told a House committee that the idea of “decoupling” from China, which has been proposed by some, would be disastrous. “I think we gain and China gains from trade and investment that is as open as possible, and it would be disastrous for us to attempt to decouple from China,” Secretary Yellen told the committee. 

During her visit this week, Secretary Yellen will meet with Chinese officials, U.S. corporations doing business in China, and “with Chinese people.” Her visit will conclude on July 9. 

Contact this Leader…

Did you pray for Secretary Yellen today? You can let her know at:

The Honorable Janet Yellen, Secretary
U.S. Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20220


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