Obama Names Economic Advisory Board


The panel, headed by former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker, is to "provide an independent voice on economic issues," says the White House

With the economy continuing to show signs of deterioration, President Barack Obama on Feb. 6 named an Economic Advisory Board, headed by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, to provide advice on ways to fix the economy.

Obama signed an executive order establishing the board, which the White House said is modeled after the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board created in 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Its role will be to "provide an independent voice on economic issues," according to a statement released by the White House.

The news came on a day when the government announced that 598,000 jobs had been lost in January and unemployment had risen to 7.6%. At the same time, Congress is wrestling over details of a proposed economic stimulus package.

Will Assess Short-Term Response

According to the White House, the 17-member board "will meet regularly and provide advice directly to the President on the programs to jump-start economic growth and facilitate economic stability. The board will also focus on how the response to the short-run economic crisis is laying the groundwork for the reforms necessary for longer-run prosperity."

The board's staff director and chief economist will be University of Chicago professor Austan Goolsbee, who also serves on Obama's Council of Economic Advisers.

Other members of the board include:

William H. Donaldson, chairman, Securities & Exchange Commission (2003-05)

Roger W. Ferguson Jr., president & CEO, TIAA-CREF

Robert Wolf, chairman & CEO, UBS Group Americas

David F. Swensen, chief information officer, Yale University

Mark T. Gallogly, founder & managing partner, Centerbridge Partners

Penny Pritzker, chairman & founder, Pritzker Realty Group

Jeffrey R. Immelt, CEO, General Electric

John Doerr, partner, Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers

Jim Owens, chairman & CEO, Caterpillar

Monica C. Lozano, Publisher & CEO, La Opinion

Charles E. Phillips Jr., president, Oracle Corp.

Anna Burger, chair, Change to Win

Richard L. Trumka, secretary-treasurer, AFL-CIO

Laura D'Andrea Tyson, dean, Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley

Martin Feldstein, George F. Baker professor of economics, Harvard University

Mintz is news editor for BusinessWeek.com in New York.

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