I Can’t Believe I Met Janet Yellen

Janet Yellen at Yale for Tobin Economics Research Center

To celebrate the end of the inaugural season for the new Tobin economics research center (see more here!), Yale concluded with a conversation between President Salovey and the 78th United States secretary of the treasury, Janet Yellen. Janet Yellen used to be James Tobin’s student, then TA, then mentee, as well as a current advisor to the research center. As a result, she was definitely the obvious pick to close the inaugural season much to my delight. 

As an Economics major, my club Women in Economics (WiE) received priority access to the event, so I received the sign-up link in advance, guaranteeing my spot.

However, luck was not on my side when I had to rush over from class to Yale SOM where the event was held. I barely managed to make it in before the doors closed, but when I got to the front, the entrance to the auditorium was closed as the talk had begun, so I had to sit in flood seating in an adjacent classroom even though my fellow WiE friend had saved me a spot. In the end, I watched the livestream version projected on a big screen in a small lecture room in SOM.

At the end of the talk, Janet Yellen was so nice, and probably knew our disappointment in not being able to see her in person, so she popped by our room at the end to say goodbye, and I got to see her up close in person.

Janet Yellen in person
Up close and personal!

Even though the economics department is so big at Yale, the department makes an effort to engage all of its students through inclusivity for these events, and the Women in Economics club is a great community that provides support and opportunities to remain involved in the department.

Autographed photo of Janet Yellen
Souvenir from the Tobin center