Federal Reserve vice chair to become top Biden economist
President Joe Biden will name Federal Reserve Vice Chair Lael Brainard as his top economic adviser, according to two sources familiar with the matter, with an announcement expected as soon as Tuesday.
The White House had been considering a number of senior officials in the federal government to replace National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, including Brainard and deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo, a person familiar with the matter told CNN last month.
Brainard, a former Treasury official in the Obama administration and a Fed governor since 2014, was seen as a leading contender, two people familiar with the matter previously told CNN.
She was also viewed as a leading contender to become Fed chair before Biden ultimately decided to renominate Jerome Powell. Brainard was instead elevated to vice chair, the central bank’s No. 2 official.
Bloomberg first reported on Brainard’s pending selection.
The White House declined to comment to CNN on the matter.
Deese, whose departure Biden announced at the start of the month, has long planned to depart in the first few months of the year and, as CNN previously reported, played a role in selecting his replacement.
As head of Biden’s economic council, he has been the driving force behind the administration’s economic policy and legislative agenda for two years and has been one of the most powerful NEC directors in recent memory.
Biden, when confirming Deese would step down, touted his “critical” role in the passage of key legislation including the bipartisan infrastructure law, the Covid-19 relief bill, the CHIPS and Science Act and the health care and climate package.
The personnel shakeups are among a pattern of shifts across the White House and the administration, as staff and Cabinet officials mull a potential change midway through Biden’s first term.
The announcement of Deese’s impending exit came a day after the White House held an emotional event to mark the departure of Biden’s first chief of staff, Ron Klain. Biden’s former Covid-19 coordinator Jeff Zients was tapped to fill that vacancy. The president will also be looking to fill the February exit of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh. Earlier this month, the White House also announced that communications director Kate Bedingfield would be leaving the administration and would be replaced by Democratic communications professional Ben LaBolt.
This story has been updated with additional details.
CNN’s Matt Egan, Betsy Klein and Maegan Vazquez contributed to this report.