Biden's economic team is set to be historically diverse

Joe Biden
(Image credit: Mark Makela/Getty Images)

President-elect Joe Biden is picking several women, including women of color, for top economic posts in his administration, joining expected Treasury secretary nominee Janet Yellen in breaking barriers, people familiar with Biden's plans told several news organizations Sunday. He will officially unveil his team on Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Biden is expected to name Princeton labor economist Cecilia Rouse as chairwoman of his Council of Economic Advisers, to be joined by campaign economic advisers Heather Boushey and Jared Bernstein. He will also reportedly nominate Neera Tanden, head of the center-left Center for American Progress, as director of the Office of Management and Budget. Rouse, who is Black, and Tanden, whose parents emigrated to the U.S. from India, would be the first women of color to lead their respective departments.

Biden is also reportedly leaning toward Brian Deese, another alumnus of the Obama White House, for director of the White House National Economic Council, though the Journal says Roger Ferguson, chief executive of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America, is also under consideration. Deese might face some resistance from the left because he is currently an executive at BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager.

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Biden's expected pick for deputy Treasury secretary, Adewale "Wally" Adeyemo, also worked as a senior adviser at BlackRock from 2017 until 2019, though he also helped Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) set up the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, the Journal notes. Adeyemo, whose family immigrated from Nigeria when he was a child, would be the first Black deputy Treasury secretary.

Biden's economic team will be crucial to his efforts to reshape an economy still struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the end of federal coronavirus financial support. It isn't guaranteed that a GOP-led Senate would confirm all of Biden's economic picks, and Senate Republican aides have already suggested that should the GOP control the upper chamber after Georgia holds its runoff elections, Tanden would be blocked because she said mean things about GOP senators on Twitter.

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