The White House is considering nominating a top female official at the Treasury Department to fill one of the vacant seats at the Federal Reserve, according to two people familiar with the process, amid criticism over the role of women in the Obama administration.
As undersecretary for international affairs, Lael Brainard is one of the most highly ranked — and most visible — female members of President Obama’s economic team. Her name has long been circulated in the insular world of Fed watchers as a potential candidate to sit on the central bank’s influential board of governors.
But her conversations with the administration have ramped up recently, and she is seriously considering accepting the nomination, according to the two people, who requested anonymity to discuss personnel issues. The White House declined to comment.
Brainard’s nomination could help solve a public-relations problem for the White House, which has been assailed over the lack of women in premier posts. Obama is weighing whether to name Lawrence H. Summers, a close former adviser, to the top job at the Fed — a move that would mean passing over Janet Yellen, the vice chair at the central bank whom many once considered a shoo-in.