Obama to Nominate Raskin as First Female U.S. Treasury Deputy

President Barack Obama plans to nominate Federal Reserve Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin to be deputy Treasury secretary, the White House said in a statement, which would make her the highest-ranking woman in the history of the department.

Raskin, who must be confirmed by the Senate, would replace Neal Wolin, who is leaving the Treasury at the end of August. Wolin was a key negotiator with Congress on the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law that was signed into law by Obama in 2010. Regulators are implementing the law and the Treasury is coordinating that work among agencies including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Raskin is “a proven leader whose experience and knowledge will be a tremendous asset,” Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said in a statement today. “Sarah has a deep understanding of banking and financial regulatory issues as well as a firm grasp of how to run large, complex organizations.”

Raskin was Maryland’s top financial regulator from 2007 to 2010. Prior to that, she was a managing director at Promontory Financial Group, which advises banks. She started at the Fed in October 2010, filling a term that expires in January 2016.

The role of the deputy Treasury secretary has varied. Lawrence Summers, as deputy secretary in the late 1990s, was instrumental in the U.S. response to the economic crises in Asia and Latin America, and used the job as a springboard to the Treasury secretary job.

Fed Openings

Raskin’s departure would leave a second opening on the Fed’s board. Governor Elizabeth Duke, who also focused on regulation, announced July 11 that she would be leaving the central bank at the end of August.

In addition, Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s term ends early next year. Obama is considering “several candidates,” said National Economic Council director Gene Sperling, at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast in Washington today.

The president has indicated he won’t make an announcement on a replacement for Bernanke until after August.

Obama defended Summers, a potential candidate for Fed chairman, in a meeting with congressional Democrats today.

“He took a minute to stand up for Larry Summers,” said Representative Brad Sherman of California. Obama told Democrats he hadn’t made a decision about whom to appoint as Fed chairman.

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