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Transition Economic Advisory Board

The Obama Presidency


Robert B. Reich, Former Labor Secretary

Reich (b. 1946) was the 22nd U.S. Secretary of Labor, serving with President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997. As Secretary, he implemented the Family and Medical Leave Act and pushed for an increase in the minimum wage. He is currently a professor at Berkeley University's Goldman School of Public Policy. He is the author of 11 books; his latest is titled Supercapitalism, The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life. ; he also blogs regularly.

Reich has been on faculty at the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government and at Brandeis University. He received his B.A. from Dartmouth College, his M.A. from Oxford University (where he was a Rhodes Scholar) and his J.D. from Yale Law School.

Robert E. Rubin, Former Treasury Secretary & Senior Counsel Citigroup

Rubin (b. 1938) was the 70th Treasury Secretary, serving in both the first and second terms of the Clinton Administration. He also directed the National Economic Council, created by Clinton to better coordinate cabinet activities.

As Treasury Secretary, Rubin opposed regulating derivatives, as did then-Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan. Brooksley Born, then-head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), advocated for regulation, worried that "opaque trading" could "threaten" the economy. In 1998, Congress froze CFTC regulatory authority; Ms. Born left the following year. In 2000, Congress permanently stripped the CFTC authority in a rider that Sen. Phil Graham attached to an appropriations bill.

Eric Schmidt, CEO Google and Obama Campaign Adviser

Schmidt (b. 1955) is chairman and CEO of Google. Before joining Google in 2001, he was chairman and CEO of Novell. While chief technology officer and corporate executive officer at Sun Microsystems, Inc., he led the development of Java. He was a researcher at the Computer Science Lab at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) as well as at Bell Laboratories.

In 2007, PC World named Schmidt first on its list of the 50 Most Important People on the Web. An informal adviser to the Obama campaign, he began actively campaigning in October. Schmidt supports a "stimulus program that rewards renewable energy and over time attempts to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy."

Lawrence Summers, Former Treasury Secretary

Summers (b. 1954) became the 71st Secretary of the Treasury in July 1999 after serving as undersecretary for international affairs and deputy secretary of the Treasury. From 1991 to 1993, he was the chief economist of the World Bank. During Summers’s tenure as Treasury secretary, we used federal budget surpluses to repurchase Treasury debt for the first time since the 1920s.

Summers is currently the Charles W. Eliot University Professor at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and a part-time managing director of the investment and technology development firm D. E. Shaw & Co. Summers had a controversial term as President of Harvard University.

In 2009, he will be director of the White House National Economic Council

Laura D'Andrea Tyson, Former National Economic Advisor

Tyson (b. 1947) is a professor at the Haas School of Business of the University of California, Berkeley. She was the Chair of the US President's Council of Economic Advisers during the Clinton Administration and also served as Director of the National Economic Council. From 2002 to 2006, Tyson was the first woman Dean of London Business School. Tyson has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations since 1987.

She serves on the boards of Morgan Stanley, AT&T Inc. and Eastman Kodak. She holds a B.A. in Economics from Smith College and a Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She writes regularly about domestic and international economic policy in mainstream media. Her research focus is global trade.

Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles and Clinton Co-Chair

Villaraigosa (b. 1953) was elected mayor of Los Angeles in 2005, defeating incumbent James Hahn. Villaraigosa became the first Latino mayor of Los Angeles since Cristobal Aguilar in 1872. Prior to becoming a politician, he was a labor organizer. His political career includes serving as California State Assemblyman for the 45th District, being the Speaker of the California State Assembly and representing the 14th District in the Los Angeles City Council.

In 2007, Villaraigosa endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton, serving as one of four national co-chairmen her 2008 presidential campaign.

Paul A. Volcker, Former Fed Chairman

Volcker (b. 1927) is a member of the Trilateral Commission and served as chairman of the Federal Reserve board under Presidents Carter and Reagan. He served in the Johnson and Nixon Treasury department as deputy under-secretary for monetary affairs. He was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from 1975 to 1979.

Under Volker's leadership, the Fed attacked stagflation by limiting the growth of the money supply. However, in the early 1980s the country experienced a prolonged recession with unemployment levels at their greatest since the Great Depression. The high interest rates devastated American agriculture; farmers drove tractors to D.C. in protest.

Volker endorsed Obama in January 2008.
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