An Historic Milestone: Federal Reserve Appoints First Latina Governor

Colombian-American Adriana Kugler has made history by becoming the first Latina to join the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, a prestigious organization with a 109-year history. Kugler, a renowned economist and expert in labor and international economics, brings a wealth of experience to this important role.

Senator Bob Menéndez, a senior member of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee and Democrat for N.J., expressed his pride in Kugler’s appointment. He emphasized the significance of her lived experience as a Latina in the United States and how it will contribute to the Federal Reserve’s decision-making process.

Kugler, age 53, holds a doctorate in economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and previously served as chief economist of the Department of Labor during the Obama administration. Her research focuses on worker training in the U.S. and Colombia, and she has recently examined the effects of extending unemployment benefits in the U.S., particularly during the coronavirus pandemic. Her study found that this additional support allowed individuals to find better-suited jobs and earn higher wages.

Menéndez also underscored the importance of diversity and representation in positions of power. The absence of a Latino on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve before Kugler’s appointment was deemed an “affront” to the 62 million Hispanics in the country and failed to recognize the economic contributions of Latinos, which amount to approximately $3 billion.

In addition to Kugler’s confirmation, Anna Gómez was also confirmed by the Senate to serve on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Gómez, a telecommunications attorney, will be the first Latina on the commission in over 20 years. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer commended Gómez’s telecom expertise and broad support, highlighting the significance of breaking another glass ceiling and promoting diversity in governing agencies like the FCC and the Fed.

These historic appointments signify a step forward in achieving greater representation and inclusivity in key decision-making positions within important institutions.