Janet Yellen will be the next head of the Federal Reserve. The Senate confirmed her in a 56-26 vote Monday.
Yellen has served as vice chair of the Fed since 2010. Observers say her greatest challenge will be knowing when and how far to ease off the Fed policies that have helped the economy in recent years.
"Circumstances may demand more rapid tightening than people are expecting," said Bill Cheney, chief economist for John Hancock Financial Services.
Bernanke, in contrast, had to decide "when to step on the gas pedal and how hard" as the economy recovered from the recession, Cheney said.
Yellen will take the reins from retiring Fed Chief Ben Bernanke on Feb. 1.