Elissa Leonard, Jerome Powell’s Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Elissa Leonard

President Donald Trump on Thursday will announce his nomination for the new Federal Reserve chairman. Sources say that selection will be Jerome Powell, the current Federal Reserve governor.

The Economic Club of New York Event – Jerome PowellThursday June 1, 2017 Jerome Powell Governor, Federal Reserve System2017-06-28T08:11:02.000Z

According to The Wall Street Journal, Trump’s selection of Powell is a move “likely to combine continuity on interest-rate policy with perhaps a lighter touch on financial regulation.”

If Powell is confirmed in the Senate, he’d succeed Janet Yellen, the Fed chairwoman who’s the central bank’s first-ever female leader. Her four-year term as the Fed chair is set to expire in February 2018.

Powell has worked with the Fed for five years and has been an ally of Yellen ever since. The WSJ article says that he’d likely “continue the Fed’s current cautious approach to reversing the central bank’s crisis-era stimulus policies.”

Powell is married to Elissa Leonard, a filmmaker who graduated from Harvard University.

Here’s what you need to know about Leonard and Powell:

1. They’ve Been Married for Over 30 Years

Elissa Leonard

According to their wedding announcement published in The New York Times, Elissa and Jerome got married September 14, 1985. They got married at the Bethlehem Chapel inside the Washington Cathedral and the wedding was presided over by Rev. Arthur Jellis. Leonard opted to retain her maiden name professionally.

The couple have three children together, and they live in Chevy Chase Village, Maryland, Powell’s biography on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System said.

2. Elissa Worked as a Producer/Writer for an Award-Winning News Program

Innovation PBS 1985 Video MagicInnovation PBS 1985 Video Magic Includes content from Charlex and their creation of the music video for The Cars "You Might Think".2016-06-20T01:57:29.000Z

Leonard works as the vice chair of the board of managers of Chevy Chase Village and was formerly the chair of the buildings facilities commission in the town.

According to her biography on the village website, Leonard used to work as a producer/writer for WNET-TV Channel 13. There, she worked on the news outlet’s “INNOVATION” series.

The “INNOVATION” series ran from 1984 through 2004 and it aired on PBS. Topics covered in the series ranged from science to health to technology. The program started as a local magazine-style series with a half-hour program dedicated to a single topic. As the show gained popularity, it evolved into a series of documentary specials and mini-series.

Leonard and the “INNOVATION” series received numerous honors and awards for the show’s run, including two from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (the New York Emmy Awards). Copies of the series sit in hundreds of libraries worldwide.

3. Leonard Won Various Awards for Her Film Production

Sally Pacholok TrailerOfficial Trailer for the feature film Sally Pacholok – Premieres Feb. 2015 Watch the entire film on demand here: vimeo.com/ondemand/sallypacholokmovie2015-02-09T15:32:22.000Z

In addition to her work on the “INNOVATION” series, Leonard was the senior story editor for the National Geographic Channel’s TV Explorer series. She was also a producer at The Educational Film Center’s Powerhouse and Give and Take series.

Leonard delved into filmmaking and is the executive producer in Bruce Beresford’s Ladies in Black, a comedic adaptation of the bestselling novel by Madeleine St. John that’s scheduled to be released net year. She also wrote and was the executive producer of Sally Pacholok, a romance drama about an emergency room nurse who takes on the medical establishment when she finds an epidemic of misdiagnosis. The film was released in 2015 and received 8.4 stars on IMDb.

It won 11 awards at the Television, Internet and Video Association of Washington D.C.’s Peer Awards, with Leonard winning silver awards for independent feature and directing. She also won the “Best Feature” award at the Washington D.C. Independent Film Festival.

4. Her Father Worked for the Public Health Service

Who is Jerome Powell?A Republican with a background in investment banking, Jerome Powell is President Trump's pick to be the next Chair of the Federal Reserve.2017-10-31T16:21:48.000Z

Leonard’s father, George Hill Leonard, is from Rockville, Maryland and was an accomplished heart disease control administrator for the Public Health Service in Washington D.C. He wrote an op-ed which was published in The New York Times in 1987, talking about disagreements by doctors on different diagnoses.

“Doctors of medicine, biology, chemistry, like other citizens, have a right to speak out freely,” he wrote in the piece. “And there are great dangers in holding back on legitimate research results. Still, should there not be an effort by the medical profession to establish a clearinghouse on health findings?”

5. Leonard Graduated From Harvard University

Elissa Leonard

Leonard received her bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in 1979. She had a joint major in visual and environmental studies and government. Before attending Harvard, she attended schools within the Montgomery County School District.

Leonard is a Harvardwood member, a nonprofit organization for members of the Harvard community “who believe in the power and purpose of the arts, media and entertainment.” The group’s mission is to provide resources and service opportunities for current students and alumni.

Shortly after the release of Sally Pacholok, Leonard held a Q&A session on the Harvard campus.

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