Laurel Graefe (pronounced gray·fee) is the regional executive at the Nashville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. As the senior officer leading the Federal Reserve in Nashville, she is responsible for the branch's board of directors and strategic direction, oversees its economic research activities, and advises on monetary policy. Her work gathering and synthesizing insight from Tennessee business executives and community leaders brings Main Street perspectives to national monetary policy deliberations.
Laurel represents the Fed in regular speeches about current economic conditions, the economic outlook, and the functions and history of the U.S. central bank. Her work has been published in The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and MarketWatch, among others, and featured on National Public Radio. She also coauthored The Handbook of Oil Politics, published by Routledge. Prior to assuming her current position, Laurel served as director of the Nashville Branch’s Regional Economic Information Network and held a number of positions with the Atlanta office of the Federal Reserve, including as a director overseeing inflation and energy market analysis for the Research Department. She joined the Bank in 2005 specializing in international economics and labor market analysis.
Laurel is deeply engaged in her community, including serving on the boards of the Economics and Finance Department at Tennessee State University, TennGreen Land Conservancy, and Leadership Middle Tennessee. She is also chair of the Atlanta Fed's Diversity Advisory Council. Laurel was named a 2020 Woman of Influence by the Nashville Business Journal and is a member of both Leadership Nashville and Leadership Middle Tennessee. She earned an MBA with honors from Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management and a bachelor's degree in economics, summa cum laude, from Agnes Scott College.July 2021