MSU’s Lisa Cook elected to Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago board

January 12, 2022 - Kim Ward

Lisa Cook

Michigan State University economist Lisa D. Cook has been elected to the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

It’s one of 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks that along with the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., conducts the nation’s monetary policy with the purpose of maintaining stability in the nation’s financial system. Cook was elected for a three-year term that runs through Dec. 31, 2024.

“I’m grateful and humbled to be elected to the board,” Cook said. “I look forward to using my experience in macroeconomic policymaking to help inform the activities and deliberations of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in advancing the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate.”

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago serves the northern portions of Illinois and Indiana, southern Wisconsin, the Lower Peninsula of Michigan and Iowa. It serves the public by contributing to national monetary policy, supervising and regulating banking organizations, monitoring economic conditions in the district, and providing financial services to banks and other depository institutions and the U.S. government.

As a professor in the Department of Economics in MSU’s College of Social Science and a professor of international relations in MSU’s James Madison College, Cook’s experience will serve the public well at the Fed Bank of Chicago.  

Since joining MSU in 2005, Cook has established herself internationally as an economist. Most recently, Cook has been on the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis board of directors, one of 11 independent regional cooperative banks across the United States.

She was selected to serve on President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris' transition team to help review agencies such as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Federal Reserve, the National Credit Union Administration and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Cook also was a senior economist at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers under the Obama administration, where she worked on the eurozone, financial instruments, innovation and entrepreneurship. Cook was also on the Obama-Biden presidential transition team and led the review of the World Bank and International Affairs division of the Treasury Department.

Cook, an advocate for increased diversity and inclusion within the field of economics, is the fourth Black economist to serve on the American Economic Association board in its 130-year history. She directed the American Economic Association Summer Program for five years while it was hosted at MSU. The program creates opportunities for students from underrepresented backgrounds to advance in the field of economics. For these reasons, Cook was recognized by Fortune magazine as one of 19 Black Economists to Celebrate.

Regarding education, Cook was the first Marshall Scholar from Spelman College and received a second B.A. in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford University. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in macroeconomics and international economics. Prior to MSU, she was on the faculty of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Deputy Director for Africa Research at the Center for International Development at Harvard University and a National Fellow for research in economics at Stanford University.