Lael Brainard to Become First Woman to Head National Economic Council Since 1996

President Joe Biden is set to name Federal Reserve Vice Chair Lael Brainard as the head of his National Economic Council (NEC), according to two sources familiar with the matter.[0] Brainard, who has served on the Fed’s board since 2014, will become the first woman to head the agency since 1996.[1] Jared Bernstein, a longtime adviser to Biden, is likely to become the president’s chief economist, according to the officials.[1]

At the White House, Brainard’s primary responsibility was to facilitate the integration of economic policy throughout the government.[2] She will replace Brian Deese, who has announced his resignation, and Jared Bernstein, who currently serves on the Council of Economic Advisers, is considered likely to be named its chair, replacing Cecilia Rouse, who is stepping down.[3]

Brainard’s appointment to the White House is a crucial juncture for the Federal Reserve, the Biden presidency, and the entire economic system.[4] The Federal Reserve is still battling inflation with full force, and their determined rate hike efforts could lead to a recession while Biden is in office.[4] It remains to be seen whether the economy is barreling toward a recession, or if it can narrowly avoid one and spare the labor market from widespread layoffs.[4]

Brainard has built a reputation for being tough on Wall Street and opposing moves to roll back oversight of big banks, and has been a key voice on monetary policy, working closely with Powell on the Fed’s historic response to the coronavirus pandemic and fight against inflation. Brainard has also been a force in Washington for over two decades, after working as an economist in the Obama and Clinton administrations before she joined the Fed.[5]

Brainard has almost become part of the administration on multiple occasions.[6] In 2020, she was considered to run the Treasury, before former Fed chair Janet L. Yellen was ultimately chosen.[6] In 2021, she nearly took Jerome H. Powell’s place at the Federal Reserve.[6] Although those familiar with the interviewing process reported that it went well, Biden chose to reappoint Powell and instead promote Brainard to the position of second in command at the Federal Reserve.[6] Many who are familiar with the NEC anticipate that Brainard will, eventually, follow Yellen as Secretary of the Treasury.[6]

CNN received no comment from the White House regarding the issue.[5]

0. “Biden to name Fed’s Lael Brainard as top economic advisor, source says” CNBC, 14 Feb. 2023,

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

2. “Joe Biden to Name Fed’s Lael Brainard as Prime Economic Advisor — Transcontinental Times” Transcontinental Times, 14 Feb. 2023,

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

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

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

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