Massachusetts' two Democratic U.S. senators are praising President Barack Obama's decision to nominate Janet Yellen to be chairman of the Federal Reserve.

If confirmed by the Senate, 67-year-old Yellen would be the first woman to head the nation's powerful central bank, succeeding Ben Bernanke.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren said she was delighted by Yellen's nomination and praised what she called Yellen's "extraordinary experience and a proven track record of strong judgment and management savvy."

Sen. Edward Markey called Yellen a trailblazer and said her experience as the Federal Reserve's vice chair "will provide the stability and continuity our country needs to help ensure our economy recovers fully."

The 59-year-old Bernanke will serve until his term ends Jan. 31.

Yellen emerged as the top candidate after former Treasury secretary and White House favorite Lawrence Summers, a former Harvard president, withdrew.