January 22, 2021

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Biden announces his economic team and selects Yellen as his secretary of the Treasury

In the image, the former president of the US Federal Reserve Janet Yellen. EFE / Jim Lo Scalzo / Archive

WASHINGTON – The president-elect of the United States, Democrat Joe Biden, announced this Monday to the members of what will be the White House economic team, including Janet Yellen, as Secretary of the Treasury.

As deputy secretary of the Treasury Department, Biden has chosen Wally Adeyemo, and will be completed by Neera Tanden, as director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB); Cecilia Rouse, as president of the Council of Economic Advisers; and Jared Bernstein and Heather Boushey, as members of the Council of Economic Advisers.

If confirmed by the Senate, Yellen will be the first woman to lead the Treasury Department in its 231-year history, as well as the first person to serve as the head of that portfolio throughout her career, and to be president of the Council of Economic Advisers and the Federal Reserve.

As Secretary of the Treasury, she will be in charge of leading the future Government’s work in the economic recovery from the crisis caused by the pandemic, which has left millions of people without jobs and with contraction prospects at least for the first quarter of 2021.

As president of the Fed between 2014 and 2018, she stood out, among other things, for paying more attention than usual to the mandate to promote a strong labor market, in addition to maintaining inflation, which cost her some criticism from Republicans who considered that he was overreaching.

However, the 74-year-old economist led the way, as the current head of the central bank, Jerome Powell, has maintained and even deepened that position.

Joining Yellen in the Treasury will be the African American Adeyemo, a veteran of the executive branch and expert in macroeconomic policy and consumer protection, with vast experience in national security.

Aside from Yellen, Tanden could also mark a milestone of being confirmed as director of the WBO, by becoming the first woman of color and the first person of Indian origin to lead this department.

The until now president and executive director of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress has been chosen by Biden to lead an office in charge of the administration’s spending plans and policy, which ranges from designing budget proposals from the White House to draft national policy initiatives or approve the testimonies of the majority of government officials before Congress.

Rouse’s selection also marks another unprecedented appointment, and one that will also need to get the go-ahead from the Senate, as she could become the first African American to head the Council of Economic Advisers in its 74 years of existence.

Rouse is a prominent labor economist and dean of the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, who in the past was a member of the body she is called to lead.

On the other hand, Bernstein and Boushey elected as members of the Council of Economic Advisers were, respectively, chief economist in the first years of the Barack Obama Administration (2009-2017), of which Biden was vice president, and the second was co-founder of the Center for Equitable Growth in Washington.

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