WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – The U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of Wally Adeyemo as deputy secretary of the Treasury on Thursday, making him the first Black American to hold the powerful job.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen welcomed the Senate vote, calling Adeyemo “a master of shuttle economic diplomacy” who would help meld U.S. economic and national security interests.
Adeyemo, 39, has struck a hardline tone on China, vowing to fight what he called Beijing’s “unfair economic practices” and hold China accountable to international rules.
Adeyemo will play a key role in shaping U.S. economic policy on issues ranging from financial regulation to relief for everyday Americans and U.S. sanctions on foreign governments.
A former senior adviser at asset manager BlackRock Inc and the child of Nigerian immigrants, Adeyemo served as a top national security and economic adviser to Democratic former President Barack Obama and held senior jobs at the Treasury.
Yellen said Adeyemo was also “a tireless advocate for the working class” who helped build the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after the global financial crisis of 2008-2009.
“Those values – and that managerial experience – will be a tremendous asset to Treasury now as we continue implementing the American Rescue Plan,” Yellen said.
The Senate confirmed Adeyemo on a voice vote, a procedure used when there is little to no opposition.