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Brian Deese

He’s 31 years old and a “not-quite-graduate of Yale Law School,” said David Sanger in The New York Times. Yet Brian Deese is a key player on the White House’s auto industry task force, which makes him “one of the most influential voices in what may become President Obama’s biggest experiment yet in federal economic intervention.” A former policy analyst at the Center for American Progress, Deese served as an economic advisor to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign before moving into the Obama camp. He’s on leave from law school.

It was Deese’s lengthy memo on the options for Chrysler that persuaded the task force—including presidential advisors Lawrence Summers and Steven Rattner—to press for a sale to Fiat rather than liquidation. And he was among the first in the White House to reach “the now-obvious conclusion” that GM’s best shot was in Chapter 11. Not bad for a guy who until last year “had never set foot in an automotive assembly plant.”

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