News Joe Biden creates history with nominee picks for economic team

Joe Biden creates history with nominee picks for economic team

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US President-elect Joe Biden is making good on his promise to build a diverse administration, with four barrier-breaking selections for his economic team.

Now, all that’s left for him to do is get the Senate on board with his picks, but that will only come after he assumes office on January 20.

It will be one of the first obstacles Mr Biden will have to overcome after Inauguration Day.

Here, we delve into the four members of his economic team who – if all goes according to plan – will create history and help Mr Biden implement his agenda over the next four years.

Janet Yellen

Mr Biden wants economist Janet Yellen to lead the US out of the worst crisis facing financial markets since the 1929 Great Depression.

To help do that, he has handpicked Ms Yellen for Treasury secretary. That would make her the first woman in US history to serve in that role.

This is not the first time Ms Yellen has made history.

From 2014 and 2018, the former top economic adviser in the Clinton administration headed America’s central bank, the Federal Reserve.

She became its first chairwoman after a four-year stint as vice-chair of the board, and another four years as president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

The 74-year-old also chaired the White House Council of Economic Advisers, an agency within the President’s executive office, from 1997 to 1999.

Neera Tanden

Neera Tanden spearheads a think tank called the Centre for American Progress. Photo: Getty

Mr Biden has picked Neera Tanden to steer the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which delivers the federal budget and oversees the performance of federal agencies.

The daughter of Indian immigrants and graduate from Yale Law School, Ms Tanden would be the first woman of colour and the first south Asian-American to be named OMB director.

She heads the Centre for American Progress think tank and action fund that requests donations to help move its ideas “aggressively in the national policy debate”, with the end goal of “improving the lives of all Americans”.
The 50-year-old also helped draft the Affordable Care Act while a senior adviser to President Barack Obama’s Department of Health.

She also previously worked in the Clinton administration as an associate director for domestic policy.

Cecilia Rouse

Mr Biden nominated Cecilia Rouse, a professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University, to chair the Council of Economic Advisers.

Ms Rouse, a black woman, would be the first woman of colour to head the White House team of economic advisers.

A renowned labour economist, the 56-year-old serves as dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs.

She was a member of the Council of Economic Advisers during the Obama administration and worked on “finding ways to make it more attractive for employers to hire workers”, according to her academic profile on the Princeton University site.

Ms Rouse said she also invested time in “finding ways for workers to invest in themselves to make them more productive”.

Adewale ‘Wally’ Adeyemo

Mr Biden has nominated Obama Foundation president Adewale “Wally” Adeyemo to serve as Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, which would make him the first black person to take on the role.

Born in Nigeria, Mr Adeyemo is a lawyer who graduated from Yale Law School and currently serves as a senior economic adviser for the Centre for Strategic & International Studies.

He was Mr Obama’s international economic adviser and in 2015 was appointed his deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs.

Mr Adeyemo also joined the Treasury as deputy director of the White House’s National Economic Council.

According to his bio, he was the chief negotiator for the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s provisions on macroeconomic policy.

Mr Adeyemo was also the first chief of staff at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

“In that capacity, he helped to hire the bureau’s initial executive leadership team and build an agency devoted to protecting US consumers,” his bio reads.