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Economist Lisa D. Cook is the personification of Black excellence.

The renowned educator and researcher has spent her entire career advocating for the economic advancement of Black people in America. Her work has garnered her a seat at some of the most prominent tables in the world.

President Joe Biden recently nominated Cook to join the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. If she is confirmed, she will be the first Black woman to serve on the board since its creation 108 years ago.

Yet, Conservatives have found a way to spin the narrative that Lisa Cook isn’t qualified enough to get a board seat at the Federal Reserve. During her confirmation GOP senators attacked Cook’s professional and academic qualifications, pegging her as a radical leftist with a secret agenda to only help Black people.

Sen. Patrick J. Toomey called Cook’s ideas “extreme left-wing political advocacy,” noting she supports a bill that advocates for reparations for slavery.

Cook was also accused of making mischaracterizations about her background and some Republicans called her work ‘social science,’ and not real economics or monetary policy.

The right-wing talking point that Cook isn’t “fundamentally qualified,” is being repeated religiously on outlets like Fox News, but they just are not true. Cook’s ideas, plans, and strategies are widely publicized and all it takes is a few google searches to realize Lisa D. Cook is an amazing woman with more qualifications in her pinky toe than a third of the Republicans criticizing her.

NewsOne recently spoke with Marc Morial of the National Urban League about the Republican attacks on Cook and her qualifications. 

“Anyone who’s got a PhD in Economics is steeped in macro economics,” said Morial. “It’s fundamental in becoming an economist to understand macroeconomic and microeconomic theory, application and research, so these attacks rubbed me the wrong way.”

Let’s run through her credentials.

Cook is a Professor of Economics and International Relations at Michigan State University. She was also the first Marshall Scholar from Spelman College and has a second B.A. in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Oxford University. She has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley with concentrations in macroeconomics and international economics. She has also spent time as Deputy Director for Africa Research at the Center for International Development at Harvard University, and a is National Fellow at Stanford University. She taught and created more than 10 economic academic courses at Michigan State University and served as a Senior Economist in the Obama Administration’s Council of Economic Advisers.

Cook’s economic research and ideas are well documented.

She has focused research projects on the Russian economy, studies that have examined the effect of political conflict and domestic terrorism on economic and political outcomes, as well as research to aid in measuring the effects of the Great Recession on American households to better predict future financial and economic crises. Her work doesn’t stop there. Cook has research projects about finance and innovation, Financial Reform, and violence and economic activity.

Cook also used her knowledge of how to research to collaborate on a long-running database on lynching in the United States. Cook’s running list of awards and grants is way too long to list.

Click Here to see a list of her awards.

Cook’s support stretches far beyond the scope of her economic colleagues. Congresswoman Maxine Waters recently expressed her support for Cook.

“The expertise that Lisa Cook and Philip Jefferson bring to the subject of racial economic disparities in the labor market is crucial perspectives to have at the table as the Fed navigates an economy where recovery is being experienced unevenly and where concentration and supply chain disruption has led to higher prices,” said Waters in a statement to the press.

As Republicans continue to attack Lisa Cook, democrats look to move forward with her confirmation. If she is confirmed, along with the rest of Biden’s nominees, the Federal Reserve will be as diverse as it has ever been. A seat at the table is the only real direction towards meaningful change.


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Who Is Lisa D. Cook? The Black Woman Economist Has A Lot Of Big Ideas  was originally published on