President Barack Obama plans to name Federal Reserve Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin as deputy Treasury Secretary, making her the highest-ranking woman in the history of the Treasury department, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Raskin, 52, has been vetted for the position and Obama plans to nominate her in the coming weeks, according to the people, who asked for anonymity to discuss the personnel decision before an announcement. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew has been told of the choice, according to one of the people.

Prior to serving as Maryland's top financial regulator from 2007 to 2010, Raskin was a managing director at Promontory Financial Group, which advises banks. She was nominated to the Fed in March of 2010.

Her departure will leave a second opening on the Fed's board. Governor Elizabeth Duke, who also focused on regulation, announced July 11 that she would be leaving the central bank at the end of August.

In addition, Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke's term ends early next year. Obama is considering "several candidates," said National Economic Council director Gene Sperling, at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast in Washington today.

The president has indicated he won't make an announcement on a replacement until after August.

Obama defended former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, a potential candidate for Fed Chairman, in a meeting with Congressional Democrats today.

"He took a minute to stand up for Larry Summers," said Representative Brad Sherman of California. Obama told Democrats he hadn't made a decision about whom to appoint as Fed chairman.

White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage didn't respond to a request for comment.

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