Janice Eberly is an American economist and a professor of finance at Northwestern University. She is also the senior associate dean for strategy and academics at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. She was previously an assistant secretary for economic policy at the U.S. Treasury Department from 2011 to 2013. She has also served as a member of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Panel of Economic Advisers.
Eberly’s research focuses on macroeconomics, finance, and public finance. Her work has been published in leading academic journals, and she has received numerous awards for her research and teaching.
As of early 2023, Eberly is considered to be the front-runner for the Federal Reserve vice chair vacancy due to her strong academic background in finance and economics, as well as her Treasury, CBO, and Council of Economic Advisers experience during the Barack Obama and George H.W. Bush administrations.
- Janice Eberly is an American economist, and a professor of finance at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, with expertise in macroeconomics, finance, and public finance.
- Eberly has served as an assistant secretary for economic policy at the U.S. Treasury Department and has been a member of several advisory committees, including for the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
- Eberly’s research focuses on capital budgeting and investment decisions, household finance, and the role of intangible assets.
- Eberly is considered the front-runner for the position of Federal Reserve vice chair after the position was vacated by Lael Brainard in February 2023.
- The vice chair is responsible for assisting the chair in conducting monetary policy, overseeing the operations of the Federal Reserve System, and representing the Federal Reserve to Congress, the media, and the public.
Early Life and Education
Janice Eberly was born in 1964 in California. She spent her childhood on a ranch in Fallbrook, Calif., where her family grew citrus and avocado crops. Her father was a U.S. Navy veteran and a pilot for United Airlines. She attended Fallbrook Union High School, where she participated in Future Farmers of America (FFA), an organization that fosters agricultural education. She also excelled in mathematics and science and won several awards and scholarships.
She pursued an undergraduate degree in economics at the University of California, Davis and graduated with honors in 1986. She then enrolled in a doctoral program in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she focused her Ph.D. work on finance and macroeconomics. She completed her dissertation in 1991 under the guidance of French economist Olivier Blanchard.
Areas of Research
Eberly’s research mainly investigates how firms make capital budgeting and investment decisions, as well as how households make consumption and portfolio choice decisions—and how these decisions interact with the larger macroeconomy. More recently, Eberly’s research has looked at household finance and the role of intangible assets.
Her work has been published in top-tier academic journals, including the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, Econometrica, and The Quarterly Journal of Economics, among several others. She has received several accolades, including a Sloan Foundation research fellowship and grant funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the CME Trust.
Eberly’s first academic position was as an assistant professor of finance at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1991, where she taught courses on corporate finance, investment banking, and financial institutions. She also had visiting appointments at Harvard University and MIT. In 1997, Eberly was hired by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.
She is currently the senior associate dean for strategy and academics, the James R. and Helen D. Russell professor of finance, and former chair of the Finance Department at the Kellogg School of Management.
Additionally, Eberly has served as an associate editor of the American Economic Review and other academic journals, including the Journal of Monetary Economics and the Journal of Economic Perspectives, and co-editor of the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity (BPEA).
In 2011, Eberly took a leave of absence from Kellogg to join the Obama administration as assistant secretary of economic policy and chief economist of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
She also previously served on the staff of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers and on the advisory committees of the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the Federal Reserve, and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). She was elected vice president of the American Economic Association (AEA) for 2020.
Honors and Awards
For her academic contributions, Eberly was elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2013. She has also won numerous awards from her university for teaching and mentoring.
Front-runner for Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve
According to news reports, Eberly is considered to be the front-runner for the position of vice chair of the Federal Reserve under President Biden. If appointed, she would replace Lael Brainard, whose vice chairmanship was vacated when she became director of the National Economic Council under Biden in February 2023.
According to these reports, Eberly has already interviewed for the position with Biden’s chief of staff, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and Brainard. However, as of March 2023, no final decision has been made. Eberly is considered to be a dovish candidate who is optimistic that the Fed can achieve its inflation target without generating significant labor market slowdowns.
The vice chair of the Federal Reserve is the second-highest officer of the Federal Reserve System, after the chair (who is currently Jerome Powell). If the chair is unavailable, the vice chair presides over meetings of the Board of Governors. By law, the vice chair is responsible for reporting on the Fed’s operations and progress toward achieving its monetary policy goals to Congress.
As a member of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the vice chair also has a role in developing monetary policy recommendations and has some influence over those decisions.
Who is the current Federal Reserve vice chair?
As of March 2023, the Federal Reserve vice chair position is vacant. It was previously held by Lael Brainard, who was appointed by President Biden. Brainard left to become director of the National Economic Council in February 2023. The front-runner for the position as of this writing is Janice Eberly.
What does the Fed vice chair do?
The Fed vice chair is a high-ranking official within the Federal Reserve System, which is the central bank of the United States. The vice chair is appointed by the president of the United States, confirmed by the Senate, and serves a four-year term.
The primary responsibility of the Federal Reserve vice chair is to assist the chair of the Federal Reserve Board in conducting monetary policy and overseeing the operations of the Federal Reserve System.
In addition to assisting the chair in monetary policy, the vice chair also plays an important role in representing the Federal Reserve System to Congress, the media, and the public. This includes testifying before Congress on monetary policy and economic conditions, as well as engaging with the media to explain Fed actions and decisions.
Who are the 7 members of the Federal Reserve Board?
The Fed’s Board of Governors has seven of the 12 seats on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the body responsible for setting U.S. monetary policy.
As of March 2023, the seven members of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors are:
- Jerome Powell (chair)
- Michael Barr
- Michelle (Miki) Bowman
- Lisa D. Cook
- Philip N. Jefferson
- Christopher J. Waller
- (Vice chair, vacated, February 2023)
The Bottom Line
Janice Eberly is an American economist and professor of finance at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, with a strong background in macroeconomics and finance. She has served as an assistant secretary for economic policy at the U.S. Treasury Department and as a member of the Congressional Budget Office and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
As of early 2023, Eberly is considered the front-runner for the position of Federal Reserve vice chair, responsible for assisting the chair in conducting monetary policy and overseeing the operations of the Federal Reserve System, as well as representing the Fed to Congress, the media, and the public.