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Bernanke to join U.S. policy think tank Brookings

Jonathan Spicer
Outgoing U.S. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke participates in a discussion at the Brookings Institution in Washington January 16, 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

By Jonathan Spicer

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will join the Brookings Institution, a politically centrist policy think tank based in Washington, beginning on Monday.

Bernanke, who stepped down as head of the U.S. central bank on Friday after an eight-year tenure marked by financial crisis and policy experimentation in the face of the Great Recession, will join as a distinguished fellow in residence at its economic studies program, Brookings said on Monday.

"Brookings scholars have a well established reputation for contributing innovative ideas and trenchant analysis to economic and other public policy debates," Bernanke said in the Brookings statement. "I welcome the opportunity to engage in that vibrant community through research and writing."

The former Princeton professor was succeeded at the Fed by Janet Yellen, the former vice chair who was sworn in as chair of the Fed Board on Monday morning.

Brookings, a well-respected think tank that prides itself as having members from both sides of the U.S. political spectrum, said Bernanke will help bring "rigorous analysis to critical questions" at its new Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, which is named for private equity investor Glenn Hutchins.

"His firm, steady hand at the Fed's tiller came at a crucial time in our nation's history, including during the worst financial and economic crisis since the Great Depression," Brookings President Strobe Talbott said in the statement.

"We know he'll bring insights from his tenure at the Fed to his work at Brookings, which will be particularly valuable and timely given heightened attention to monetary policy and the recent launch of the Hutchins Center."

(Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)