President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Brian Deese, global head of Sustainable Investing at BlackRock Inc. (BLK), as director of the National Economic Council (NEC).
In his new role, Deese will be responsible for the coordination of policy-making 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 since 2017, 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 as special assistant for economic policy to President Obama following the 2008 financial crisis, as deputy director of the NEC, and as deputy director and 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.
As head of the NEC, Deese is likely to focus on designing policies to provide support to workers and families during the latest economic crisis, while rebuilding the economy in a more sustainable way. Some environmental activists have criticized Deese's appointment due to his position at 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 JD from Yale Law School.