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Biden to name diverse economic team, with three women in top roles to help build recovery

President-elect Joe Biden is set to formally name key members of his economic team on Monday, with the long-expected announcement of Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary, CNN has learned, along with two other women in top roles on a diverse team that will help him navigate the nation’s punishing fiscal headwinds in hopes of building an economic recovery.

He is expected to name Neera Tanden to lead the Office of Management and Budget, two people familiar with the appointment said, elevating Tanden, the CEO and president of the left-leaning Center for American Progress, into the top ranks of his administration.

He’s poised to name Cecilia Rouse, a Princeton economist, to lead the Council of Economic Advisers, which would put another Black woman in a high-profile role of Biden’s top advisers. Rouse served on the council during the Obama administration.

Among the barrier-breaking nominees Biden is announcing is Adewale “Wally” Adeyemo, president of the Obama Foundation in Chicago, for deputy Treasury Secretary, serving under Yellen. If confirmed, he would be the first Black deputy Treasury Secretary. Yellen, if confirmed, would be the first woman to serve as Treasury Secretary.

Adeyemo served on the National Economic Council of the Obama administration and last fall was named as the first president of the Obama Foundation.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on Biden’s expected economic picks.

The announcements are expected to be made Monday in a statement, officials said, with the team set to be formally introduced by Biden during an event Tuesday at his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware.

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The economic team is among the most critical pieces of the new administration, whose successes or failures will play a large role in determining the course of the Biden presidency.

Biden is also still set to name the leader of the National Economic Council, officials said, as well as United States Trade Representative, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other posts.

It is unclear whether Biden will name his Commerce Secretary nominee this week, officials said, and the timing of other key economic positions also could be shifted based on final decisions and last-minute adjustments.

Several people close to the transition tell CNN this is a glimpse of leading contenders for other key roles on the economic team:

Brian Deese, a former top economic adviser in the Obama-Biden administration, is among the leading contenders to head the National Economic Council, officials said. He served as deputy director of the OMB and the NEC and is now a top official at BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager.

Roger Ferguson Jr., who served as vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, is also seen as a leading contender for the National Economic Council, officials said, but could also be named to another top economic post.

Katherine Tai is among the leading contenders to serve as US Trade Representative, officials said, a critical position as the Biden administration moves beyond the trade policies of the Trump era. Tai is the top Democratic trade counsel on the House Ways and Means Committee and oversaw trade enforcement for China during the Obama administration. She also played a key role in negotiating trade policy for Democrats in the US-Mexico Canada Agreement.

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The roster of contenders for the various economic posts inside the West Wing also includes Jared Bernstein, a longtime economic adviser to Biden, along with Gene Sperling, a veteran of the Clinton and Obama administrations, and Ben Harris, who also worked in the Obama administration.

Several other candidates have also risen to the top for high-profile economic jobs, officials said, including Heather Boushey, who has been one of Biden’s chief economic policy advisers during the campaign, and Lisa Cook, an economist at Michigan State who also worked in the Obama administration.

Austan Goolsbee, who served as the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers in the second term of the Obama administration, has also been mentioned for top posts in the Biden White House. But Goolsbee dismissed that possibility on Sunday, telling CNN’s Manu Raju: “I don’t plan to be going into the administration.”

This story has been updated with additional reporting.



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