President-elect Joe Biden rounded out his economics team on Monday (Nov. 30) by appointing two women to top posts. He also officially named Janet Yellen, former head of the Federal Reserve, as treasury secretary.
“Biden is sending a clear message that economic policymaking in his administration will be shaped by liberal thinkers with a strong focus on worker empowerment as a tool for economic growth,” The New York Times reported. In general, Biden’s appointees are committed to building up the economy so as to lower unemployment and drive up workers’ wages.
Biden appointed Cecilia Rouse, a Princeton labor economist, to run the three-member Council of Economic Advisers. Also, Neera Tanden, CEO of the Center for American Progress, was appointed as head of the Office of Management and Budget.
The president-elect also officially appointed to the Council of Economic Advisers Jared Bernstein, a chief economist for Biden when he was vice president, and Heather Boushey, a top policy adviser to Hillary Clinton in 2016. She is currently CEO of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.
The three-member council advises the president on economic policy.
In addition, Biden appointed Adewale Adeyemo, international economic advisor in the Obama administration, as deputy Treasury secretary. He is a senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Tapped by Biden to lead the National Economic Council is Brian Deese, a former Obama economic adviser who helped lead the effort to rescue the U.S. auto industry. Currently, he is global head of sustainable investing at BlackRock.
Even before today’s announcements, speculation had been building over what kind of Treasury secretary Yellen would be. She has a full plate of economic problems to deal with, as the new administration looks to help the U.S. economy recover from the pandemic-induced crisis.
Yellen was chair of the Fed from 2014 to 2018, and her tenure ended at a time when the unemployment rate was just over 4 percent. Now unemployment is nearly 7 percent, after soaring into double-digit percentage points as the COVID-19 crisis hit.