Who Is Brian Deese?

Brian Deese is the current director of the National Economic Council (NEC). Because director of the NEC is not a cabinet-level position, he did not need to be confirmed by the Senate. Prior to his current position, Deese was global head of sustainable investing at BlackRock Inc. (BLK), a position he'd held since 2017.

Brian Deese

Investopedia / Bailey Mariner

Deese is responsible for the coordination of policymaking on both domestic and international economic issues. The NEC provides economic policy advice to the president, ensuring that policy decisions and programs are in line with the president's economic goals.

As head of BlackRock's sustainable investing division, Deese advised clients on how to achieve investment returns that meet environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria.

Immediately prior to joining BlackRock, Deese was a senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. He served as a White House senior advisor to President Barack Obama from 2015 to 2017. Between 2009 and 2015, he held several positions at the White House, including special assistant for economic policy to President Obama following the 2008 financial crisis, deputy director of the NEC, and deputy director as well as acting director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Deese played crucial roles in developing the bailout of the U.S. auto industry following the financial crisis as well as in negotiating the Paris Climate Agreement during the Obama administration.

Some environmental activists have criticized Deese's appointment due to his position as the world's largest asset manager. Critics say BlackRock and Deese have not done enough to diversify away from fossil fuels.

Early Career and Education

Prior to serving at the White House, Deese worked at the Center for American Progress and at the Center for Global Development.

He received his Bachelor of Arts from Middlebury College and his J.D. from Yale Law School.