Biden taps Fed vice chairwoman Lael Brainard as top economic adviser

Economist is second former Fed official to join White House

The US President plans to name Federal Reserve Vice Chairwoman Lael Brainard as the new director of his National Economic Council. AP
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US President Joe Biden on Tuesday selected Federal Reserve Vice Chairwoman Lael Brainard to head the National Economic Council.

The addition of Ms Brainard brings another former high-level Fed official to the Biden administration. Janet Yellen, Treasury Secretary, led the central bank from 2014 to 2018.

Ms Brainard “is a trusted veteran across our economic institutions, and understands how the economy affects everyday people”, Mr Biden said in a statement.

Ms Brainard holds a doctoral degree in economics from Harvard University and previously served as deputy national economic adviser during former president Bill Clinton's administration.

Her appointment now leaves a vacancy at the Federal Reserve during a time when it is waging a long-fought battle against inflation in the country.

The new economic adviser has typically supported lower interest rates and argued that layoffs may not be required to tame inflation, putting her at odds with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's thinking.

Mr Biden did not mention a potential replacement for Ms Brainard.

The President also announced his intention to nominate Jared Bernstein as chairman of the Council of Economic Affairs, which requires Senate approval.

Bharat Ramamurti, currently serving as deputy director of the National Economic Council, will serve as an adviser for strategic economic communications.

Updated: February 14, 2023, 11:13 PM