Janet Yellen, the former chief of the U.S. Federal Reserve, was confirmed as the Secretary of the Treasury on Monday, with the Senate voting 84-15 to make her the 78th official, and the first woman, to lead the department.
Yellen, 74, is only the second person to ever have served as both central bank chair and Treasury Secretary in the Treasury's 231-year history, dating back to the first to hold the post, Alexander Hamilton.
The Treasury Secretary is the fifth in the presidential line of succession.
Yellen will be responsible for spearheading the Biden administration's economic response to the coronavirus crisis. The U.S. is struggling to bounce back economically from the damage caused by the pandemic.
The U.S. Department of Labor reported last Thursday 900,000 new claims for unemployment insurance for the week that ended Jan. 16.
"As Treasury secretary, Yellen will oversee everything from tax collection to public-debt management to the enforcement of international sanctions," Lindsey M. Piegza, chief economist at Stifel, said.
She is the third of Biden's Cabinet bets to be confirmed, after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and National Intelligence Director Avril Haines.
"The bipartisan support for Yellen's multiple nominations reflects her breathtaking range of experience and just how well suited she is to manage the economic challenges of our time," Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer said on Monday.
A New York native, Yellen earned her doctorate from Yale University and taught at Harvard University, University of California- Berkeley and the London School of Economics.
In her new capacity as Treasury boss, Yellen will manage an agency that will initially be tasked with supporting President Joe Biden's landmark $1.9 trillion stimulus package, which comes just months after the government wrapped up 2020 with a deficit surpassing $3 trillion.