President Biden’s nomination of Colombian-American economist Adriana Kugler to be the next governor of the Federal Reserve (Fed) is making history. If confirmed, Kugler would be the first Latin American to serve on the Board of Governors of the US central bank.
Kugler is currently the Executive Director of the World Bank Group for the United States and has a wealth of experience in the field of economics. She was appointed Chief Economist of the Department of Labor under the Obama Administration from 2009 to 2017 and has also served on the Board of Science, Technology, and Economic Policy of the National Academies of Science of the United States.
Kugler holds a Ph.D. in economics and has been a professor at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. Her research focuses on the impact of labor institutions, such as unemployment insurance, payroll taxes, firing costs, occupational licensing, and active labor market programs, on employment and earnings.
Kugler’s nomination must be ratified by the Senate, but Democrats have control of that chamber, so no major hurdles are expected. Her confirmation would be significant, as it would be the first time in the history of the organization, which was founded in December 1913, that a Latina has assumed the responsibility.
The chairman of the Senate Foreign Committee, Democrat Bob Menéndez, noted in February that in the past 109 years there had not been any Hispanic representation in the Fed. “Why is it important? Because it is the largest minority in the country,” he said.
Kugler’s confirmation would also bring diversity to the Board of Governors, as she would be the second black vice president in the history of the Fed after Roger Ferguson (1999-2016). The Board of Governors currently consists of seven people and its term is 14 years. The Fed is chaired by Jerome Powell and the vice presidency has been vacant since Lael Brainard was nominated in February as director of the White House National Economic Council.
The nomination of Adriana Kugler is a major step forward in terms of representation, and if confirmed, she will make history as the first Latin American to serve on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.