Collins becomes first Black woman to lead a regional Fed bank 

On July 1, international macroeconomist Dr. Susan M. Collins starts as president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

Dr. Susan M. Collins, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan, has been named president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, making the international macroeconomist the first Black woman to serve in such a leadership role at the Fed. 

According to The Washington Post, Collins starts her new job on July 1. 

Susan M. Collins, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan, is set to serve as the next chief of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. (Photo: Peter Davis/Federal Reserve Bank of Boston)

Collins, who has a doctorate in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is set to replace Eric Rosengren, who left the position in September, one of two Federal Reserve Bank presidents who stepped down after revelations of their trading activities during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Dr. Collins brings the technical expertise and insight to contribute to policymaking and the leadership ability to head the organization,” said Dr. Christina Paxson, president of Brown University and chair of the Bank’s Board of Directors, in a statement from the bank. “She is deeply committed to serving the public, engaging with constituents and advancing economic stability, opportunity and prosperity for the region and nation through the work of the central bank. Susan has also advanced diversity, equity and inclusion through her work with the American Economic Association, the Ford School and the University of Michigan.”

Collins called it “an honor and an inspiration to serve as the Boston Fed’s next president.” 

“Throughout my career,” she said in the statement, “I have been driven by a commitment to leveraging research, education and public service to improve lives. I look forward to helping the Bank and System pursue the Fed’s dual mandate from Congress – achieving price stability and maximum employment.”

“I am also inspired by the portfolio of important and innovative work underway at the Boston Fed,” Collins maintained. “I am delighted with the opportunity to lead such a dynamic organization, engage with its talented staff and work with its constituents – to understand their economic challenges and help explain the work of the Fed in the economy. It will also be a pleasure to return to Greater Boston and New England.”

Collins, a Harvard University graduate raised in New York City, is originally from Jamaica. She is married to Dr. Donald R. Vereen, Jr., M.D., M.P.H, and the couple has two adult children. 

President Joe Biden has also nominated economist Lisa Cook to be named a governor of the Federal board. If confirmed, she would be the first Black woman to serve on the Board of Governors. Its lack of diversity is notable, but some insiders are crossing their fingers that Collins’ appointment will bring about greater change at the Fed.

“It is a remarkable advancement when you consider that America had a Black president before any of the 12 regional banks had a Black president,” Aaron Klein, senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution, told Fortune. “Hopefully Dr. Collins will bring a fresh perspective to the Fed, which could benefit from new thinking.”

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