Senate confirms Yellen as Fed chairwoman

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Senate confirmed Janet Yellen as chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, making her the first woman and the third consecutive Jewish top U.S. government banker.

The Senate confirmed Yellen to the post in a 56-26 vote Monday evening. She succeeds Ben Bernanke, who succeeded Alan Greenspan in 2006.

Yellen, 67, has been vice-chairwoman of the Federal Reserve since 2010.

She has pledged to continue Bernanke’s commitment to transparency and is noted for her emphasis on diminishing unemployment over tackling inflation.

“As one of our nation’s most respected economists and a leading voice at the Fed for more than a decade – and Vice Chair for the past three years – Janet helped pull our economy out of recession and put us on the path of steady growth,” President Obama said in a statement. “Janet is committed to the Fed’s dual mandate of keeping inflation in check while also addressing our most important economic challenge by reducing unemployment and creating jobs.”

According to media reports, a top contender to replace her in the vice chairman post is Stanley Fischer, a former World Bank chief economist who from 2005-2013 was governor of the Bank of Israel.