Karnit Flug to be first female Bank of Israel chief

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Karnit Flug, the deputy governor of the Bank of Israel, was picked to move up to the top spot and, if confirmed, will be the first woman to be the central bank’s governor.

Flug’s appointment was announced Sunday by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid. The deputy governor since July 2011, Flug has been serving as acting governor since Stanley Fischer stepped down on June 30. Fischer recommended Flug to be his replacement.

Her appointment comes after two would-be appointees withdrew their names from the nomination after embarrassing personal information came to light.

Lawrence Summers, a former U.S. Treasury secretary and president of Harvard University, also reportedly turned down the post last week.

Flug had resigned from her position after being passed over to replace Fischer.

“We have been impressed by Dr. Flug’s performance as Acting Governor in recent months and we are certain that she will continue to assist us in moving the Israeli economy to additional achievements in the face of the global economic upheaval,” Netanyahu and Lapid said in a brief statement.

Flug’s nomination must be confirmed by the Knesset.

Flug received a doctorate in economics from Columbia University in 1985 and worked at the International Monetary Fund before joining the Bank of Israel in 1998.

She joins Janet Yellen of the United States as landmark picks to lead the central banks of their countries. Yellen, who is Jewish, was appointed earlier this month as chief of the Federal Reserve and if confirmed would be its first female chief.

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