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Bank of Israel to Name First Female Chief

Acting director Karnit Flug has official nomination, needs Cabinet approval

Stephanie Butnick
October 24, 2013
Karnit Flug.(NBP/OF)
Karnit Flug.(NBP/OF)

After a few false starts (see: Jacob Frenkel; Leo Leiderman), it looks like the Bank of Israel is finally getting close to naming a new chief. A vetting committee led by former Supreme Court justice Jacob Turkel has approved the nomination of Karnit Flug, who has been serving as acting governor since superstar economist Stanley Fischer retired in June. The final step for Flug, who would become the first female chief of Israel’s central bank, is approval at a Cabinet meeting on Sunday.

It’s looking likely, even though it feels like just yesterday (it was August, actually) that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid decided against nominating Flug, who had not only worked at the bank for 25 years but who Fischer himself reportedly recommended as his successor. Still, according to the Times of Israel, they appear to have had a change of heart (after, of course, the two men they selected withdrew for personal reasons, and Lawrence Summers, to nobody’s surprise, declined):

On October 20, after months of failed attempts to fill the position, Netanyahu and Lapid announced Flug’s selection for the post and said in a joint statement, “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 spurring the Israeli economy to additional achievements in the face of the global economic upheaval.”

Congratulations to Flug, who deservedly joins Janet Yellen, President Obama’s nominee for U.S. Federal Reserve chair, in the small circle of smart women running the show, economically speaking

Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.