Janet Yellen – Family, Family Tree

by Acton Jhones

American economist Janet Louise Yellen is the Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. She served as Vice Chair from 2010 to 2014. In San Francisco, she was President and CEO of Federal Reserve Bank. Under President Bill Clinton, she was Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. As a business professor, she worked at the University of California, Berkeley, and Haas School of Business.

Her ability to connect economic concept to everyday life is observed as one of the turning point of her career. President Barack Obama nominated her as Chair of the United States Federal Reserve to succeed Ben Bernanke after citing her knowledge of the high human costs of unemployment. Yellen’s nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on 6th January 2014. She became the first woman to hold the position on 3rd February 2014.

Early Life and Childhood

early life

Janet was born to a Jewish family in New York. She completed her graduation from Fort Hamilton High School in Brooklyn.

She graduated in 1967 from Pembroke College with a degree in economics.

Family Background


Her mother was Anna (née Blumenthal) and her father, Julius Yellen, was a physician. Originally, her father’s family came from Polish town of Suwałki.

Marriage and Children

Her husband, George Akerlof, is a professor at Georgetown University, Nobel prize-winning economist. He is also retired professor at the University of California, Berkeley.


Robert Akerlof, their son, is an Economics teacher at the University of Warwick.



In 1971–76, Yellen worked as an assistant professor at Harvard. From 1980, she has been conducting research at the Haas School while teaching macroeconomics to MBA and undergraduate students.


She also worked as a lecturer at London School of Economics and Political Science. She worked as an economist with Federal Reserve Board of Governors.


Yellen worked as Chair of Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers for two years and was a member of the Federal Reserve System’s Board of Governors for three years.

Career 2

She spoke publicly, after her appointment with Federal Reserve in 2004, in meetings of Fed’s monetary policy committee, on her worry regarding potential effects of the boom in housing prices.


Janet argued against deflating the housing bubble, in a 2005 speech in San Francisco, and predicted housing bubble could be huge enough in the road.

Janet Yellen

She was the President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco for six years. Yellen was a voting member in 2009 of the Federal Open Market Committee.

Janet Yellen

Janet told the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, in 2010, that San Francisco Fed officials are looking for guidance from Washington.


Yellen was introduced as a potential successor to Ben Bernanke, in 2009, as chair of the Federal Reserve System, before he was nominated again by Barack Obama.


She was vice president of the American Economic Association and a fellow of the Yale Corporation.


Yellen works as president of the Western Economic Association International.


She is currently working as a Professor Emerita at the University of California. She was awarded twice the Haas School’s outstanding teaching award.