WASHINGTON — The White House announced Monday that it will nominate University of Michigan economics and public policy professor Kathryn Dominguez to fill the final open seat on the Federal Reserve Board.
Dominguez's career has been spent almost entirely within academia, having served in various positions at the University of Michigan since 1997 and prior to that at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Dominguez also served on the research staff at the Congressional Budget Office in 1984 and has served on academic advisory boards for the Chicago and Cleveland Feds in more recent years.
President Obama praised Dominguez's experience and expertise in the announcement, saying she has a demonstrated knowledge of the financial system and will be a valuable asset to the Fed Board for years to come.
"Dr. Dominguez has the proven experience, judgment, and deep knowledge of the financial system, monetary policy, and international capital markets to serve at the Federal Reserve during this important time for our economy," Obama said. "She brings decades of leadership and expertise from various roles, particularly from her years as a leading economist and academic."
But whether Dominguez will receive a confirmation hearing in the Senate Banking Committee remains uncertain. Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., has not moved on the president's other pick to the Fed Board, Allan Landon, apparently because he was awaiting the final nominee so that both could be considered together. Shelby's office said Monday that the chairman will "carefully review the nomination and the Committee will consider it at an appropriate time."
The White House has also taken an extraordinarily long time to fill the two openings on the Fed Board. Both nominations - to succeed former Fed Gov. Sarah Bloom Raskin, who now serves as deputy secretary of the Treasury, and Jeremy Stein, who returned to academia - have been open for more than a year.
Justin Schardin, associate director of the Bipartisan Policy Center's Financial Reform Initiative, said that the window for the Senate to confirm Dominguez and Landon's nominations is closing rapidly, and it remains unclear whether Shelby will oppose either or both picks now that they have been made. But the committee is likely to hold a confirmation hearing sometime soon, he suggested.
"It took the president a long time to decide on nominees to the Federal Reserve Board, which has had two vacancies for more than a year," Schardin said. "Now that he has made his choices, the Senate Banking Committee should hold hearings to consider both nominees."