Lael Brainard, a longtime Treasury Department official and former Goldman Sachs economist, is President Obama’s choice to be Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve. Mrs. Brainard is part of a new generation of economists from inside and outside government who could do much to help Trump govern. She has held a variety of posts at the Treasury Department, including time on the International Monetary Fund.
She is a native of Washington, D.C., and attended Boston College, then Johns Hopkins University. While at Johns Hopkins, she was a research fellow at Harvard, and was a visiting scholar at Oxford University.
Mrs. Brainard received a doctorate in economics from Johns Hopkins University, where she was a Distinguished Woman’s Scholar. Before she joined the Treasury Department, she worked in Goldman Sachs.
She graduated cum laude with a degree in economics from Oxford.
An activist for greater women’s rights, she has spoken out in favor of pushing back against gender inequality, writing in an essay for the New York Times that such measures “hold great promise for American women.”
She is married to Laurence Summers, former Treasury Secretary and former director of the National Economic Council under President Bill Clinton.
She is a major player at the IMF, serving as an independent commissioner overseeing its management and overhauling the Fund’s policies and practices. She was a member of the board that appointed Christine Lagarde, the current head of the IMF.
Mrs. Brainard is also a frequent presence on Wall Street, giving a speech in February where she warned that the recent spike in interest rates “appears to be close to peaking.”
She has also been involved in international economic affairs in the Treasury Department, and has been a vocal critic of the trade policies of Chinese President Xi Jinping.