President Barack Obama Nominates Bay Ridge Native Janet Yellen to Be First Woman Chair of the Federal Reserve

From Fort Ham to the Fed: the story of Janet Yellen

President’s pick: Yellen shakes hands with the Commander-in-Chief after receiving the nomination.
Brooklyn Daily
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A daughter of Bay Ridge is set to become the first woman to helm the nation’s central bank — making her arguably the most powerful woman in the history of the world.

President Barack Obama has nominated Janet Yellen, a graduate of Fort Hamilton High School, to be the next chair of the Federal Reserve — the institution that regulates the American banking system, and controls the almighty dollar.

Yellen was born in 1946 and grew up the daughter of a doctor on Ridge Boulevard, graduating from Fort Ham in 1963.

She went on to graduate summa cum laude from Brown University with a bachelor’s degree in economics, and got her PhD from Yale University. She taught at esteemed institutions like Harvard University, the University of California at Berkeley, and the London School of Economics. She served on the Fed’s Board of Governors — which oversees the central bank — and as the president and chief operating officer of its West Coast branch, based in San Francisco.

She became vice-chair of the Federal Reserve in 2010 — and, if the Senate votes to confirm her nomination — she will be the first female to join the boys’ club of Fed chairmen. World markets look to the Fed chair for clues on how the central bank will manage interest rates, which it does by regualting the supply of greenbacks in circulation. If confirmed, Yellen’s every word will move trillions of dollars around the globe and shape the economy of the nation and the world.

Ridge finance experts predicted Yellen would be an inspiration to Brooklynites and a wise steward of the American economy.

“Everybody in the local community should be proud,” said Mike Garthaffner, vice president of the Bay Ridge Federal Credit Union. “I’m sure she’ll do a terrific job creating policy and steering the economy.”

Updated 11:30 am, October 11, 2013
Reach reporter Will Bredderman at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at
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