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 strategic direction, oversees economic research activities, and is a member of the core group of Atlanta Fed leaders advising on monetary policy. Her perspectives on business conditions and the state of the economy, gleaned from candid conversations with business executives and community leaders, bring Main Street perspectives to national monetary policy deliberations.
Laurel's keynotes have earned a reputation for making complex and technical business and economic issues accessible, inclusive, and useful for business executives and public audiences. 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 as an intern.
Laurel is deeply engaged in her community, including serving on the boards of the United Way of Greater Nashville, Siskin Hospitals, Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee, the Economic and Finance Department at Tennessee State University, and TennGreen Land Conservancy. Laurel was named a 2020 Woman of Influence by the Nashville Business Journal and a 2021 Most Powerful Woman by Nfocus Magazine. She is a graduate of Leadership Nashville and Leadership Middle Tennessee and was elected as a Tennessee representative to the International Women's Forum. 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. She was recently awarded an advanced certification in executive leadership from Harvard Business School.Updated January 2022