Janet Yellen's road to U.S. Treasury Secretary

When it comes to the head of the U.S. Treasury, this is how it started and this is how it’s going.

Janet Yellen has made history as the first woman to hold the post.

[Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, saying] “… the smartest thing we can do is act big.”

But it’s not the first time she’s broken a glass ceiling.

She was also the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve, making her a steady choice to join President Joe Biden’s cabinet during one of the most turbulent economic chapters in U.S. history.

The daughter of a doctor and teacher, Yellen is a New York native from Brooklyn.

With a PhD from Yale, she boasts an impressive academic career - spanning stints at Harvard and Berkeley, among others.

It was while in Washington working for the Fed that she met her husband, Nobel Prize-winning economist George Akerlof.

It makes sense their only child is also an economics professor.

Yellen served as the chairwoman of the Federal Reserve between 2014 and 2018, where she helped navigate the U.S. recovery from the 2008 financial crisis.

Yellen was also deeply involved in some of the most important changes in the Fed's history.

She had a hand in establishing the 2% inflation target and a 2014 speech helped move income inequality to the front burner.

"I think it is one of the most important issues and one of the most disturbing trends facing the nation at the present time."

To be effective, Treasury secretaries need a good ties with the central bank - and Yellen certainly has that.

She's kept in frequent touch with the current chair, Jerome Powell, since she passed on the baton.

She also mentored the influential New York Fed chief and San Francisco's.

Her tenure also awarded her strong international connections, with many of the key financial players in Europe and elsewhere.

Yellen won an overwhelming confirmation, in a strong bipartisan vote, less than a week after Biden took office – a quick timeframe by recent standards.

At her hearing, she staunchly defended Biden's proposed stimulus plan and tax hikes.

"Neither the president-elect nor I proposed this release relief package without an appreciation for the country's debt burden."

The Treasury will try to persuade Congress to introduce measures to foot the bill - but getting everyone on-side may be a formidable task after Trump's term ran up large deficits.

According to Yellen, it’s all necessary to avert a longer and more painful recession.