If confirmed by the Senate, 67-year-old Yellen would be the first woman to hold the position of the chief banker. She has been named in place of Ben Bernanke, whose four-year term ends on January 31. Describing the chair of the Fed as one of the most important policymakers in the world, Obama on Wednesday said Yellen has been exemplary and a driving force of policies to help boost American economic recovery.
"Janet is exceptionally well-qualified for this role. She's served in leadership positions at the Fed for more than a decade. As Vice Chair for the past three years, she's been exemplary and a driving force of policies to help boost our economic recovery," he said.
"Janet is renowned for her good judgment. She sounded the alarm early about the housing bubble, about excesses in the financial sector, and about the risks of a major recession. She doesn't have a crystal ball, but what she does have is a keen understanding about how markets and the economy work not just in theory but also in the real world. And she calls it like she sees it," Obama said.
Noting that the past six years have been tumultuous for the economy and challenging for many Americans, Yellen said though more needs to be done to strengthen the recovery, particularly for those hardest hit by the Great Recession, the country has made progress under Obama.
Yellen: Economy is stronger and financial system is sounder
"The economy is stronger and the financial system sounder," she argued. "While we have made progress, we have farther to go. The mandate of the Federal Reserve is to serve all the American people, and too many Americans still can't find a job and worry how theyll pay their bills and provide for their families," she said.
"The Federal Reserve can help if it does its job effectively. We can help ensure that everyone has the opportunity to work hard and build a better life. We can ensure that inflation remains in check and doesn't undermine the benefits of a growing economy. We can, and must, safeguard the financial system," Yellen said.