Janet Yellen sworn in as first woman Treasury secretary

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Vice President Kamala Harris participates in a swearing-in ceremony with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Yellen’s husband George Akerlof, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, at the White House in Washington. The Treasury building stands behind. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Janet Yellen was sworn in Tuesday as the nation’s 78th Treasury secretary and the first woman to hold the office.

She was sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris at a ceremony performed outside on the East Landing of the White House with a view of the Treasury Department that Yellen will lead. Yellen’s husband, George Akerlof, winner of the 2001 Nobel prize in economics and their son Robert, also an economist, were present for the brief ceremony.

Yellen became the third of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet nominations to win Senate approval on a vote of 84-15 late Monday. All of the no votes came from Republican senators.

The administration has emphasized the need to get its nominees approved quickly given the threats facing the country from a global pandemic and a slumping economy.

Yellen enters the Treasury job after many years serving in other top economic jobs, including as the first woman to serve as chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018.

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