Lael Brainard Appointed to Lead National Economic Council

President Joe Biden has chosen Federal Reserve Vice Chair Lael Brainard to lead the National Economic Council (NEC), a crucial role in the administration at a difficult time for the U.S. economy.[0] Brainard, 61, has been a force in Washington for two decades, beginning as an economist in the Obama and Clinton administrations before she joined the Fed.[1]

Brainard is a highly respected economist with a PhD, and has built a reputation for being tough on Wall Street and opposing moves to roll back oversight of big banks. During her time at the Fed, Brainard held an unusually large sway, with roughly 20 dissents on regulatory issues.[2] She also worked closely with Chair Jerome Powell on the Fed’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and fight against inflation.[2]

Before joining the Fed, Brainard served as undersecretary for international affairs at the Treasury Department in the Obama administration, becoming a crucial negotiator during Europe’s debt crisis.[3]

Brainard’s move to the White House comes at a pivotal time for the central bank, the Biden administration and the broader economy.[4] The Federal Reserve is still taking extreme steps to combat inflation, and the potential result of its aggressive rate hike efforts could be a recession during President Biden’s administration.[4]

Her appointment comes as the White House is preparing for contentious talks with Republicans over raising the federal debt ceiling, and as the U.S. economy has sought to emerge from high inflation, rising interest rates and slowing growth.

Brainard will succeed Brian Deese, who plans to step down this month, The Wall Street Journal reported. Deese has long planned to depart in the first few months of the year, and has been the driving force behind the administration’s economic policy and legislative agenda for two years.

Jared Bernstein is projected to be chosen by the president to lead the Council of Economic Advisers.[1] Bernstein, currently a member of the Council, will replace Cecilia Rouse at the helm of the White House’s in-house economic research office.[5]

Brainard’s pending selection was first reported by Bloomberg.[6] CNN was not granted a comment from the White House regarding the issue.[6]

Brainard’s move to the White House has sparked speculation over who would replace her at the Fed as policymakers weigh how much further to raise interest rates.[7]

0. “Is Joe Biden’s Pick for Top Economic Adviser Good or Bad for Crypto?” CryptoPotato, 14 Feb. 2023,

1. “Biden taps Fed’s Brainard as top economic adviser” POLITICO, 14 Feb. 2023,

2. “Fed’s Lael Brainard moves to White House” The Washington Post, 14 Feb. 2023,

3. “Biden picks Fed’s Lael Brainard for National Economic Council” Axios, 14 Feb. 2023,

4. “Who is Lael Brainard, Biden’s new top economics adviser?” The Washington Post, 14 Feb. 2023,

5. “Biden Will Name Fed’s Lael Brainard as His Top Economic Adviser” Bloomberg, 14 Feb. 2023,

6. “Federal Reserve vice chair to become top Biden economist”, 14 Feb. 2023,

7. “Brainard’s Exit Spurs Speculation on Fed Vice Chair Replacement” Yahoo Finance, 14 Feb. 2023,