WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Janet Yellen, the first woman to chair the Federal Reserve in its 100-year history, will take over the reins of the U.S. central bank on Saturday but will only formally be sworn in next week, the Fed said on Thursday.
Yellen, 67, who succeeds Ben Bernanke as the Fed begins to unwind unprecedented efforts to boost the U.S. economy, will be sworn in at 9 a.m. EST (1400 GMT) on February 3. She will have full authority as the top central banker from Saturday until the swearing-in ceremony, according to the Fed.
Bernanke's second four-year term expires on Friday.
Yellen will be one of a handful of women heading central banks globally. Her main task will be to navigate the U.S. central bank's way out of its extraordinary stimulus, beginning with a further dialing down of its massive bond-buying program.
The Fed has already announced a $20 billion reduction in its monthly asset purchases and is expected to completely shut down the program by year-end.
(Reporting by Margaret Chadbourn; Editing by Paul Simao)