President Barack Obama has appointed Sarah Bloom Raskin, a former top Maryland financial regulator, as deputy secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department, the White House announced late Wednesday.
Raskin, 52, has served as a governor of the Federal Reserve since 2010. Previously she was appointed by Gov. Martin O'Malley as commissioner of financial regulation in 2007. If confirmed by the Senate, she would replace Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin, who has served since 2009.
The Financial Times website reported that Raskin, a resident of Takoma Park, would become the highest-ranking woman ever to serve in the Treasury Department.
Raskin would join two other former O'Malley appointees who hold either the No. 1 or No. 2 positions in U.S. cabinet departments. They are just-confirmed Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez and Deputy Transportation Secretary John S. Porcari.
Raskin is the wife of Maryland state Sen. Jamie Raskin, a Montgomery County Democrat.
Sen. Raskin said his wife has an "unparalleled background" for the Treasury Department job.
"All of my Senate colleagues tease about how powerful Sarah has become," he said. "I just remind them that the states are the central building block of democracy."
Sarah Raskin is a Harvard-educated lawyer who has worked for the Federal Reserve of New York and two congressional committees as well as in private industry.
Her appointment comes at a time when the Fed chairmanship is up for grabs and its board membership is in flux. Another woman on the board, Elizabeth Duke, is preparing to leave, while Vice Chairman Janet Yellen is considered to be one of the two leading candidates to succeed Ben Bernanke as chairman.