President-elect Joe Biden has nominated former White House economic adviser, Cecilia Rouse, to lead the Council of Economic Advisers under his administration. If she is confirmed, she will make history as the first Black chair of the CEA, continuing the historic diversity of the upcoming Biden administration.
Rouse is the dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and has a long history of studying discrimination and education. She is well known for her Harvard research paper on sexism in music auditions, and in the hiring process of symphony orchestras. She graduated from Harvard for both her bachelor’s and Ph.D. degrees in economics.
She will have an uphill battle ahead as the country recovers from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We need to be positioned for the economy of the future so that everyone is able to partake in the growth we hope to have,” Rouse said to Princeton. “To that end, I am honored to have a chance to return to public service to help lead that charge.”
She also called the crisis “devastating,” in a 2020 interview, but reminded us all that it is an “opportunity to build a better economy in its wake.”
Her colleagues also believe that she is well suited to help the guide the country.
Austan Goolsbee, the former head of the C.E.A. under the Obama Administration, told the New York Times that after the 2008 recession, Rouse was “ahead of everyone” on vital issues like long-term unemployment. With the current unemployment rate being at an all-time-low, Rouse appears to be well prepared to help the country bear the long-term effects of the pandemic.
As Rouse prepares to serve in her third position in the White House (with the first two being during the Clinton and Obama administrations,) Democrats are hopeful that the educational and economic pundit will be a stark contrast from the current administration.
In recent months, she has advocated for new federal protections of workers in response to the pandemic, like laws that mandate paid sick leave.