The Senate confirmed Cecilia Rouse to become chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
Dr. Rouse makes history as the first Black person to serve in that role in the council’s 75-year history. The Senate voted 95-4 in favor of her confirmation.
The role means that Dr. Rouse will now be the top economic adviser to President Joe Biden.
“Too often economists focus on average outcomes instead of examining a range of outcomes,” Rouse said at her confirmation hearing. “One of my priorities as chair will be to try to understand how policies will impact all in our country, as we strive to ensure the economy works for everyone.”
Dr. Rouse is the dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and a former member of the council under President Barack Obama. During that time, she helped design policies to boost hiring to aid the recovery after the 2007-2009 recession. Dr. Rouse also worked for President Bill Clinton’s National Economic Council.
With the country’s unemployment rate currently standing at 10 million and a crippling pandemic, the road ahead for Dr. Rouse will not be without its challenges. Dr. Rouse vowed to use her position to advance racial and gender equity in the economy.
“As deeply distressing as this pandemic and economic fallout have been,” she said, “it is also an opportunity to rebuild the economy better than it was before — making it work for everyone by increasing the availability of fulfilling jobs and leaving no one vulnerable to falling through the cracks.”