When Fernanda Nechio flew to Brazil in May, it wasn’t just to visit family. Instead, this research advisor and economist at the San Francisco Fed spent several weeks of her vacation getting ready for the next step in her career.
Earlier this month, the Federal Senate of Brazil voted to approve Nechio as deputy governor of the Central Bank of Brazil. Nechio now serves as one of nine voting members on the central bank’s policymaking committee. She is one of only four female deputy governors in the history of the Central Bank of Brazil. In her new role, Nechio also oversees the banks’ International Affairs and Corporate Risk Management divisions.
“It is an honor and privilege to serve my country,” Nechio said. “It’s an unbelievable opportunity, a chance to give back, doing the things I like. You can’t say no to something like that.”
Nechio noted that she is excited to continue being “a part of real decision-making that affects so many people’s lives.” Brazil’s central bank makes economic decisions for the eighth-largest economy in the world. Those decisions affect not only the country’s 209 million people, but also the broader global economy. Nechio said thinking about this keeps her up at night.
Nechio’s work at the Fed uniquely prepared her for her new role. After receiving her doctorate at Princeton University, Nechio joined the San Francisco Fed as an economist in 2009, in the midst of the financial crisis. Since then, she has researched the global effects of the crisis during one of the longest expansions in U.S. history. She said that it has been an incredible experience to see how policy can respond in both extremes. She learned a lot from debating different economic perspectives and collaborating with other researchers along the way.
“Seeing the level of responsibility at the San Francisco Fed—how they care about the work and its importance to the people—has been eye-opening,” Nechio said. “Those experiences will be invaluable when facing the challenges ahead.”
The past 10 years were also a time of change inside the San Francisco Fed. Nechio said, “I’ve been lucky to work with three presidents, all with different touches.” She noted that each president—Janet Yellen, John Williams, and Mary Daly—helped her see how diverse ways of working and approaches to policy can be effective.
Nechio’s expertise in international finance and policy resulted in her promotion to senior economist and later to research advisor. Through her research, Nechio provided influential briefings to Bank management about the international effects of the crisis on labor markets and monetary policy. Her more recent work with coauthors has focused on developments in global inflation.
President Mary Daly reflected, “Fernanda has grown from a great scholar into a notable policy advisor and leader at the San Francisco Fed and across the Federal Reserve System. She has been dedicated to doing research, informing policy, growing her department, and strengthening our Bank’s presence, while also focusing on women and minorities in the economics profession. She has been on a remarkable path, and her confirmation is very well deserved.”
Nechio is the latest in a broader trend of the San Francisco Fed cultivating talented people who go on to serve in senior leadership positions around the country and the world. Other examples include Sylvain Leduc, one of the Bank’s research economists who served two years as Deputy Governor at Canada’s central bank before returning to become our research director. Presidents Yellen and Williams also went on to become Chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, respectively.