Former senior executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of TowneBank, Elizabeth Duke, was sworn in as governor of the U.S. Federal Reserve on Tuesday morning and will participate and vote at today's FOMC meeting, the Fed announced.

The news comes rather last-minute with the FOMC scheduled to announce its rate decision at 2:15 p.m. EDT.

Duke's experience includes serving as executive Vice President at Wachovia Bank, and an executive Vice President at SouthTrust Bank. She also held a presidency and position of Chief Executive Officer of Bank of Tidewater.

Duke was nominated as a Fed Governor on May 15, 2007, following the resignation of Susan Schmidt Bies on March 30, 2007. She was confirmed by Congress on June 27 of this year, but was officially sworn in Tuesday. Her term expires Jan. 31, 2012.

By Erik Kevin Franco and edited by Stephen Huebl