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 The Black People Joe Biden Wants To Serve In His Cabinet That 'Looks Like America'
1. Stacey AbramsSource:Getty 1 of 24
2. Gen. Lloyd Austin, Department of DefenseSource:Getty 2 of 24
3. Rep. Karen Bass, HUD, HHSSource:WENN 3 of 24
4. Darrell Blocker, CIA DirectorSource:Getty 4 of 24
5. Raphael Bostic, Treasury DepartmentSource:Getty 5 of 24
6. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, HUDSource:Getty 6 of 24
7. Carol Moseley Braun, Dept. Of InteriorSource:Getty 7 of 24
8. Former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, HUDSource:Getty 8 of 24
9. Kirsten Clarke, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights DivisionSource:Getty 9 of 24
10. Rep. Val Demings, Homeland SecuritySource:Getty 10 of 24
11. Roger W. Ferguson Jr., Treasury DepartmentSource:Getty 11 of 24
12. Rep. Marcia Fudge, Housing and Urban DevelopmentSource:Getty 12 of 24
13. Joelle Gamble, National Economic CouncilSource:Courtesy of Biden-Harris Transition Team 13 of 24
14. Mellody Hobson, Commerce and Treasury departmentsSource:Getty 14 of 24
15. Jeh Johnson, Department of Defense, attorney general, Director of National IntelligenceSource:Getty 15 of 24
16. Maurice Jones, HUD16 of 24
17. Deval Patrick, attorney generalSource:Getty 17 of 24
18. Michael Regan, EPA
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Biden picks Michael Regan, top North Carolina environmental official, to run EPA https://t.co/JJzYjFdevB— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) December 17, 2020
19. Susan Rice, White House Domestic Policy Council DirectorSource:Getty 19 of 24
20. Symone Sanders, White House press secretary
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All of the reporting I've seen has indicated @SymoneDSanders is the frontrunner for Press Secretary so I'm expecting her to be picked. But let me add to the chorus to say she is the CREDENTIALS pick in addition to being historic. #BlackWomenLead https://t.co/cvFGjq1xLB pic.twitter.com/4Qd5D14pVR— BlackWomenViews Media (@blackwomenviews) November 14, 2020
21. Bill Spriggs, Department of Labor
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@AFLCIO Chief Economist Bill Spriggs—an economics professor in the Howard University College of Art & Sciences—says apprenticeships can be a way to earn a living while training but the labor system in the U.S. isn't set up to help apprenticeships succeed. https://t.co/ITUGeJ4yfb pic.twitter.com/4l6Mc7ZyZE— Howard University Newsroom (@HowardUNews) September 20, 2018
22. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, UN AmbassadorSource:Getty 22 of 24
23. Heather McTeer Toney, EPA
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In one hour join Heather McTeer Toney of @MomsCleanAir as she discusses our responsibility to answer the calls to action on climate and COVID, especially in light of the EPA rollbacks. #EarthDay2020 Join here: https://t.co/P9OLMS8anY pic.twitter.com/z4z3kCElAb— The People's Justice Council (@AlabamaPJC) April 24, 2020
24. Tony West, attorney generalSource:Getty 24 of 24
Cecilia Rouse Will Be The First Black Person To Chair The Council of Economic Advisers was originally published on newsone.com