The Fed

Senate approves Adriana Kugler as first Latino to hold top Federal Reserve job

Sen. Menendez had pushed for Latino representation on central bank

Columbia-American economist Adriana Kugler testifies during her Senate Banking nominations hearing in June.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday confirmed Adriana Kugler to a seat on the seven member Federal Reserve board of governors. She is the first Latino to serve as a Fed governor or regional Fed bank president.

The vote to confirm Kugler to the last vacant seat at the Fed was 53-45.

Kugler is a Colombian-American economist who has ties to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and studied with Yellen’s husband, George Akerlof.

Kugler served as chief economist at the Labor Department during the Obama administration and now serves as the U.S. executive director at the World Bank.

Sen. Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey who is a senior member of the Senate Banking Committee, had pushed the Biden White House to appoint a Latino economist.

Menendez welcomed Kugler’s nomination, saying it showed “the hopes and dreams of Latinos are central to the promise of America.”