Biden to tap former Fed Chair Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary

Yellen served under the Obama and Clinton administrations

President-elect Joe Biden will reportedly nominate former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to serve as Treasury secretary in his administration, which would make her the first female to hold the Cabinet post.

The Wall Street Journal first reported that Biden would tap Yellen for Treasury secretary.


Sources close to the Biden Transition Team confirmed to Fox News that it plans to nominate Yellen along with Michelle Fluornoy as Secretary of Defense. 

"The President-elect looks forward to announcing some members of his economic team early next week who will work with him to build the economy back better," Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the transition team, told Fox News.

Yellen has a long history of serving under Democratic administrations, becoming the first woman to head the central bank after she was appointed by former President Barack Obama to help guide the U.S. economy in its recovery from the 2008 financial crisis.

Yellen also previously served as the head of the Council of Economic Advisors under former President Bill Clinton.

A Brooklyn native, Yellen earned a Ph.D. in economics from Yale in 1971 before rising through the ranks of academia. She served as president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank beginning in 2004 through 2010; in 2010, she was appointed as vice-chair of the Fed's board of governors in Washington.


Yellen emerged as Biden’s front-runner for the post, amid a crowded field of potential picks, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who progressive groups have pushed for. Other names being considered for the post were former Federal Reserve Vice Chair Roger Ferguson, Federal Reserve Gov. Lael Brainard, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President and CEO Raphael Bostic, former deputy Treasury Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin, former DreamWorks Animation Chair Mellody Hobson, former Treasury Undersecretary Gary Gensler, and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo.

Warren on Monday tweeted out her praise of Yellen, saying she "would be an outstanding choice" as Treasury Secretary.

"Janet Yellen would be an outstanding choice for Treasury Secretary. She is smart, tough, and principled," Warren said. "As one of the most successful Fed Chairs ever, she has stood up to Wall Street banks, including holding Wells Fargo accountable for cheating working families."


Last week, a Warren ally told Fox Business that despite her name being in the mix, they are betting the pick would be Yellen. Progressives aligned with Warren have told FOX Business they'd consider it a victory if Yellen were appointed.

To be confirmed to the post, Yellen needs a simple 51 vote majority in the Senate. 

When she was confimred in 2014 as chair of the Federal Reserve, she received 26 "nays" from senator - 19 of whom are still in the upper chamber of Congress. In addition there were 18 "not voting" --12 of those will be sitting Senators in January -- and only three lawmakers crossed party lines to vote in favor of her nomination: Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Richard Burr of North Carolina.

Fox Business' Suzanne O'Halloran and Brittany De Lea contributed to this report.