Several key additions to Joe Biden‘s incoming administration were announced Sunday night following some criticism that the president-elect’s growing group of advisers lacked the proper amount of Black representation. That chorus of concern is expected to die down, at least in the interim following Biden’s latest selections that carry historic implications.
One of those selections is Cecelia Rouse, who was tapped to be the next chairperson of the Council of Economic Advisers, an influential three-person panel defined by the White House as being “charged with offering the President objective economic advice on the formulation of both domestic and international economic policy.” If confirmed by the Senate, Rouse would be the first Black person to ever hold the position.
The position is far from inconsequential and will give the Princeton University labor economist a role in helping to turn around the country’s coronavirus pandemic-stricken economy, something that is at the top of Biden’s totem pole of priorities once he’s sworn into office in January.
Rouse, 56, is also in the unique position of having White House experience under her belt, as she served as a member of President Barack Obama‘s Council of Economic Advisers from 2009 to 2011 as well as the National Economic Council under President Bill Clinton from 1998 to 1999.
Aside from working in the upper echelon of government, Rouse also boasts a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University and is the dean and Lawrence and Shirley Katzman and Lewis and Anna Ernst Professor in the Economics of Education at Princeton University, where she is a professor of economics and public affairs, too.
Her father was one of the first Black people in American history to earn a Ph.D. in physics. As such, she has been a staunch proponent of diversity and inclusion and spoke out against racism at Princeton University and around the country. In an open letter this past June, Rouse drew upon her own experiences “As a black woman in a field where there are few” and challenged the university “to combat racism, injustice, and inequality.”
While a part of Clinton’s National Economic Council, Rouse helped to coordinate economic policy for that administration and even worked on an immigration bill.
But it was her stint as part of the Obama administration that likely endeared Biden to her. That was when she advised Obama on how to successfully dig America out of the Great Recession to historic proportions that saw the unparalleled job and economic growth that continued well into Donald Trump‘s presidency.
Rouse was also directly involved in Obama’s Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act that invested heavily in HBCUs. “It was one of the largest investments the federal government has made in these institutions which are so important to so many individuals,” Rouse said at the time.
According to Rouse’s bio on the American Economic Association website, when she was asked what her dream job would be, she responded, “I’ve got it!”
Chances are that after Sunday, she’ll need to revise that answer.
Here Are All The Black People In Joe Biden's Cabinet And His Most Senior Advisers
1. Adewale Adeyemo, Deputy Treasury SecretarySource:Twitter 1 of 19
2. Gen. Lloyd Austin, Department of DefenseSource:Getty 2 of 19
3. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, vice chair of the Democratic National CommitteeSource:Getty 3 of 19
4. Kirsten Clarke, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights DivisionSource:Getty 4 of 19
5. Ashley Etienne, Kamala Harris’ Chief Communications Director5 of 19
6. Tina Flournoy, Vice President's Chief Of Staff6 of 19
7. Rep. Marcia Fudge, Housing and Urban DevelopmentSource:Getty 7 of 19
8. Joelle Gamble, National Economic CouncilSource:Courtesy of Biden-Harris Transition Team 8 of 19
9. Shuwanza Goff, Deputy Director Of The White House Office Of Legislative AffairsSource:Joe Biden Communications Coalitions 9 of 19
10. Jamie Harrison, DNC ChairSource:Getty 10 of 19
11. Karine Jean-Pierre, White House Deputy Press SecretarySource:Getty 11 of 19
12. Brenda Mallory, Council on Environmental Quality ChairpersonSource:Getty 12 of 19
13. Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, Co-Chair of Biden's Coronavirus Task Force13 of 19
14. Michael Regan, EPA14 of 19
15. Susan Rice, White House Domestic Policy Council DirectorSource:Getty 15 of 19
16. Cedric RichmondSource:Getty 16 of 19
17. Cecilia Rouse, Council of Economic Advisors chairpersonSource:Getty 17 of 19
18. Symone Sanders, Vice President's spokesperson18 of 19
19. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, UN AmbassadorSource:Getty 19 of 19
Cecilia Rouse Will Be The First Black Person To Chair The Council of Economic Advisers was originally published on newsone.com