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A voting member of the Federal Reserve's rate-setting committee this year, Loretta Mester has played an important role in helping to craft the U.S. central bank's fast and furious response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mester is the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, a role assumed in June 2014, and is one of the 10 voting members of the Federal Open Market Committee.
Mester started her central bank career at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in 1985 as an economist. In 2000, she became a senior vice president and director of research, and in 2010, she was named as an executive vice president.
In 2018, she was a candidate for the Fed's vice chair position; however, the role ultimately went to Richard Clarida.
Prior to the coronavirus crisis, she tended to vote for higher interest rates than her central bank colleagues. In September 2016 and November 2016, she cast two dissenting votes, pushing for policymakers to raise interest rates by a quarter percentage point from their range of 0 percent to 0.25 percent.
Previously, she's taught undergraduate finance and MBA programs at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business and in the finance doctorate program at New York University.
Mester received her doctorate in economics from Princeton University.