Senate Poised to Confirm Yellen as Fed Chair

She’ll be the first woman to lead the central bank since it was founded a century ago

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Jacquelyn Martin / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Janet Yellen, of California, President Barack Obama's nominee to become Federal Reserve Board chair, is sworn in on Capitol Hill in Washington.

The Senate is expected Monday to confirm Janet Yellen’s nomination to chair the Federal Reserve, making her the first woman to lead the central bank.

If confirmed in the vote scheduled for early Monday evening, Yellen, 67, will take over for departing chairman Ben Bernanke, whose second 4-year term ends this month. After clearing an earlier procedural hurdle, she is widely expected to win confirmation.

Yellen has voiced concern about high unemployment and support for the bond-buying program that has kept interest rates near zero in order to bolster the fragile economy. Her views are understood to align closely with those of Bernanke, whose tenure has been defined by the Fed’s response to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Her first scheduled meeting as Fed chair would take place in March. If confirmed, she’ll face significant challenges, including scaling back the bond-buying program that has propped it up in recent years.