POLITICS
09/08/2013 07:34 pm ET Updated Sep 09, 2013

Lael Brainard Considered For Post At Federal Reserve: Washington Post

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Lael Brainard, undersecretary for international affairs at the Treasury Department, is being considered for a vacancy at the Federal Reserve, sources told the Washington Post on Sunday.

Brainard has met with White House officials several times in recent weeks, according to the report. She is said to have been considered for one of four vacant positions.

The news comes in the wake of recent speculation surrounding Obama's upcoming nomination for Federal Reserve chair. While Janet Yellen and Larry Summers were initially regarded as equitable contenders for the nomination, it has become increasingly acknowledged that Summers is the current frontrunner.

In July, more than half of the Democratic women in the House signed a letter encouraging Obama to nominate Yellen over Summers for the position. About a third of Senate Democrats endorsed Yellen in a separate letter.

Summers has been criticized for his "sexism" and "offensive opinions on women." Meanwhile, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has said "it would be great to have a woman" as Fed chair.

Selecting Brainard - one of the most highly ranked women on Obama's economic team - for a seat at the Federal Reserve could relieve some of the pressure on the president to name a woman as Fed chair. Political pundits have said her potential nomination serves as "evidence" that Obama will abandon Yellen once and for all and follow through with a Summers nomination:

It remains unknown whether Obama will announce his nominations for the board vacancies and chairmanship simultaneously, the Washington Post said. It is assumed the situation in Syria could delay the announcements.

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