(Washington, DC)  --  Janet Yellen is President Obama's choice to chair the Federal Reserve.  In a White House ceremony, the President announced his intention to nominate Yellen.  Obama called Yellen one of the nation's foremost economists and policy makers.  If confirmed by the Senate, Yellen will become the first woman to hold the top post at the U.S. central bank.  Yellen is currently the vice chair of the Federal Reserve.  

Current Fed chief Ben Bernanke will retire when his second term expires in January.  The President praised Bernanke for his "extraordinary service" and "steady hand" during challenging times.  Obama credited Bernanke with playing a vital role in the recovery from the 2008 financial crisis and deep recession.  Yellen is a former president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and also served as a top economic adviser in the Clinton administration.