Janet Yellen, Federal Reserve Vice Chairwoman
President Obama on Wednesday will nominate Janet Yellen to lead the nation's central bank as the next chair of the Federal Reserve System, a White House official said.
If confirmed by the Senate, Yellen -- currently the Fed vice chair -- would be the first woman to hold the post that has immense influence on both the American and global economies.
Yellen, 67, would replace Ben Bernanke, who is retiring after two terms in the post.
The Federal Reserve nomination comes in the midst of a U.S. government shutdown that began Oct. 1.
It is also less than 10 days before the Treasury Department expects to hit the nation's $16.7 trillion debt ceiling, a development could lead to a government default on its bills.
The Yellen nomination ends an unusual, lengthy, and contentious internal battle for the Fed chair position.
Supporters of Larry Summers, a former top economic adviser to Obama and President Bill Clinton, pushed him hard for the post. But Summers withdrew his name from consideration last month in the face of opposition that included some Democratic senators who said he was too close to Wall Street.
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., welcomed the news about Yellen, saying "she's an excellent choice and I believe she'll be confirmed by a wide margin."
A White House aide confirmed the nomination, speaking on condition of anonymity until Obama makes the announcement.