On Thursday, December 3, President-elect Biden announced that he would appoint Brian Deese as Director of the National Economic Council.
Brian Deese, Director of the National Economic Council
Deese is the Global Head of Sustainable Investing at BlackRock. Deese previously served as a Senior Advisor to President Obama, as the Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and as Acting Director of OMB. He also served as Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, where he is credited as being one of the most influential voices on the auto industry bailouts. In his role as Senior Advisor to the President, Deese was influential in negotiating the Paris Climate Agreement, and in 2016 was tapped to oversee the Supreme Court nomination process, which led to the nomination of Merrick Garland.
Deese previously worked as a Senior Policy Analyst for Economic Policy at the Center for American Progress (CAP). After leaving CAP, Deese joined Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign as her Economic Policy Director. After the 2008 primary, Deese joined the Obama campaign as an economic advisor, then served as a member of the Economic Policy Working Group on Obama’s transition team. He has co-authored the book Delivering on Debt Relief. He earned his bachelor’s from Middlebury College and his J.D. from Yale Law School.
Some progressives have publicly opposed Deese’s appointment, because of his current position at BlackRock, where he is responsible for their sustainable investment strategy. Despite his reputation as a leader on climate change, including his role in negotiating the Paris Climate Accords during the Obama administration, they have argued that his role at BlackRock will compromise efforts to push the business community to confront the reality of climate change. Proponents of Deese’s appointment note the significance of having an NEC Director who has intimately focused on climate change, ensuring that all of President-elect Biden’s economic policies are constructed with climate change in mind. Deese’s work on the auto bailout in the early months of the Obama administration should also prove helpful as the Biden administration confronts the economic realities of a post-COVID world.
Deese’s position does not require Senate confirmation.