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Who Is Susan Collins, The First Woman Of Color To Lead Boston’s Federal Reserve Bank?

Dr. Susan M. Collins, Ph.D., provost at the University of Michigan, poses in this undated handout picture. Federal Reserve Bank of Boston/Handout via REUTERS

 

Susan M. Collins has been selected as the new president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. A University of Michigan economist and administrator, Collins will join the Boston Fed in July. The appointment makes her the first Black woman to lead a regional reserve bank in the Fed system’s 108-year history, according to The New York Times.

Who is Susan Collins?

Collins identifies as Jamaican American. Her parents migrated to the United States but she became a U.S. citizen in 1997. Collins, 63, grew up in New York City. She graduated from Harvard University in 1980, earned her Ph.D. in economics at MIT in 1984, and then went back to Harvard to teach.

Later, she moved to Washington to join the Bush administration where she served as a senior staff economist at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. She also served as a professor at Georgetown University, senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution, and visiting scholar at the International Monetary Fund, according to the Boston Globe.

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In addition, Collins served for nine years as a director at the Chicago Fed. This means that Collins is no stranger to the workings of the Fed.

What is expected of her?

Collins will start work on July 1, 2020, and replace Eric S. Rosengren, who retired as the Boston Fed’s president last year following a trading scandal, citing health concerns, according to The New York Times.

Collins will supervise the Fed’s “monetary policy and economic research, its operational role in the US financial payments system, bank supervision, and community development,” the Boston Globe reports.

“I look forward to helping the Bank and System pursue the Fed’s dual mandate from Congress — achieving price stability and maximum employment,” she said in a release by the Boston Fed.

Her role also means that she will be one of the 12 regional reserve bank presidents within the Fed system and will vote on monetary policy in 2022.

Previous roles

Collins will be joining the Boston Fed from the University of Michigan, where she has served as the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs since 2020. She is also the Edward M. Gramlich Collegiate Professor of Public Policy, professor of economics, and former dean of the Ford School (2007-17), according to her profile.

Collins has also served on the board of directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and National Bureau of Economic Research and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Educational background

Collins has an undergraduate degree in Economics from Harvard University and a doctorate in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“Her research interests center on understanding and fostering economic growth in industrial, emerging market and developing countries,” as stated by her profile.

Some of her publications include:

  • “Accounting for Growth: Comparing China and India,” (with Barry Bosworth) Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 22, no. 1 (2008).
  • “Economic Growth in Puerto Rico,” and “The Policy Options,” (with Barry Bosworth) in The Puerto Rican Economy: Restoring Growth, Washington D.C.: Center for the New Economy and The Brookings Institution (2006).
  • “The Empirics of Growth: An Update,” (with Barry Bosworth) in Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, (2003:2).
  • “Minority Groups in the Economics Profession,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, (Vol. 14, No. 2, Spring 2000).

Private life

Collins is married to Dr. Donald R. Vereen Jr., who trained at Harvard and Tufts University and at Boston-area medical institutions. Together, they have two adult children.

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Written by PH

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