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Janet Yellen Officially Takes Over Federal Reserve

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Janet Yellen was sworn in as the new Federal Reserve chair on Monday, becoming the first woman to hold that position in U.S. history.

Yellen, 67, who was nominated by President Obama last October, is also the first Democrat to head the nation's central bank since 1987.

She succeeds Ben Bernanke, a George W. Bush appointee, who stepped down after eight years at the helm. It was announced Monday that Bernanke is joining the Brookings Institution as a distinguished fellow in residence at its economic studies program.

A U.C. Berkeley economist, Yellen was vice chair of the Fed since 2010, when the bank was at the forefront of a government-wide battle against high unemployment and lagging economic growth.

She has advocated for an aggressive stimulus program of low interest rates and bond buying to strengthen the economy. Yellen has also said she believes the bank has an obligation to “the well-being of every American, and the strength and prosperity of our nation.”

However, Yellen's stance, a continuation of Bernanke's philosophy, has drawn fire from some Republicans, who warn that her ongoing support for the Fed’s stimulus policies could fuel inflation.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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