Obama is expected to make the announcement on Wednesday at an afternoon event along with Yellen and Bernanke.
Yellen would be the first woman to serve as chair of the Federal Reserve, and the announcement is all the more ironic as the U.S. risks default unless the debt ceiling is raised by Oct. 17. Her nomination would have to be confirmed by the Senate.
Her selection also follows speculation during the summer that Obama was leaning toward selecting Lawrence Summers as the next fed chair. After some lawmakers on Capitol Hill vowed to oppose the nomination, Summers removed his name from consideration.
Yellen is currently the vice chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, having been appointed in October, 2010. She spent much of her career at U.C. Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, and is currently professor emerita. She was CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco from 2004 to 2010, and chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Bill Clinton from 1997 to 1999.