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First Latina nominated to Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors

Dr. Adriana Kugler holds an extensive career in finance, and with her recent nomination, may be the first Colombian-American to sit on the Reserve’s Board.

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On May 12, 2023, President Joe Biden announced the nomination of economist and World Bank official Dr. Adriana Kugler to become a member of the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors. If Dr. Kugler is confirmed, she will be the first Latina to ever serve on the Board.

The Federal Reserve's Board consists of seven members, including two vice chairs, one of whom serves in the Chairperson's absence and the other in charge of supervising and regulating financial institutions.

“…Nominating Adriana Dr. Kugler as the first Hispanic to ever serve on the Board of Governors, President Biden is signaling that the hopes and dreams of Black and Latino Americans are central to the promise of America,” said New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez, in a statement

“Simply put, we are witnessing history unfold in real time,” he continued.

Dr. Kugler began her term with the World Bank as Group Executive Director for the United States in May 2022 with bipartisan support. Prior to joining the WBG Board, Dr. Kugler has held a notable career as a development and labor economist, working on research and policy.

Dr. Kugler served on the Board of Science, Technology, and Economic Policy of the National Academy of Sciences from 2019-2022, and on the Technical Advisory Committee of the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2016-2019.

While currently on leave from her tenure as Professor of Public Policy and Economics at Georgetown University (beginning 2010), she served as Vice Provost for Faculty from 2013-2016, and has served as Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Labor from 2011-2013, after being appointed by President Barack Obama.

Dr. Kugler was also Chair-elect and Chair of the Business and Economics Statistics Section of the American Statistical Association, serving in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

“This is a historic moment of pride for the Latino community. In the 110 years since the Fed was created, there has never been a Hispanic governor. Given the critical role Latinos play in the U.S. economy— and the central role the Fed has in driving monetary policy and other issues that deeply affect our economic well-being—this nomination is long overdue but highly welcomed,” said UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía, in a statement.

“We thank Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) for his tireless leadership and advocacy to make this longtime goal of our community a reality,” she continued.

Dr. Kugler earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University in 1991, and her Ph.D in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1997.

“With today’s announcement, we are ushering in a new chapter at the Federal Reserve, which for 109 years has never had Latinos or Latinas in the upper echelons of its leadership,” said Sen. Menendez.

“We are finally giving Latinos, all 62 million of us who call this country home, a seat at the table where the most consequential decisions on monetary policy are made,” he continued.

Alongside Dr. Kugler’s nomination are Dr. Lisa Cook, the first Black woman to serve at the Federal Reserve to an additional full term as governor, and Dr. Philip Jefferson to serve as Vice Chair.

Dr. Cook took office in May 2022, prior to which she was a professor of economics and international relations at Michigan State University, and was also a research associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Dr. Jefferson took office in May 2022, as well, serving most recently as Vice President for academic affairs, Dean of faculty, and Paul B. Freeland Professor of Economics at Davidson College. He previously served as Chair of the Department of Economics at Swarthmore College.

“Dr. Jefferson and Dr. Cook will continue to bring valuable insight, expertise, and continuity to the Fed at a critical time for our economy and families across the country. I am also proud to nominate Dr. Adriana Kugler to serve as a member of the Board of Governors. [She] is a highly qualified and respected economist with deep expertise in labor markets, worker mobility, and youth employment,” President Joe Biden said in a statement.

“These nominees understand that this job is not a partisan one, but one that plays a critical role in pursuing maximum employment, maintaining price stability, and supervising many of our nation’s financial institutions,” President Biden concluded.

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