Milestones, People

Four Berkeley grads join White House Council of Economic Advisers

By Kathleen Maclay


Two UC Berkeley graduates are joining the White House Council of Economic Advisers as members, while two others have been named economists for the panel providing economic analysis and advice to the president. Three have degrees in economics, and one in business administration.

Jay C. Shambaugh

Jay Shambaugh is joining the White House Council of Advisers. (Photo courtesy of George Washington University.)

International economics

Jay Shambaugh has been appointed by President Barack Obama to the three-member council. He is expected to focus on Greece and China, among other topics.

He replaces Maurice Obstfeld, a UC Berkeley professor of economics who has been on leave while serving for the past year on the CEA. Earlier this summer, Obstfeld was appointed chief economist for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) starting in September.

Shambaugh has been a professor of economics and international affairs at George Washington University. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Berkeley in 2002, and Obstfeld was his adviser. His university website lists international macroeconomics, exchange rate regimes and monetary policy as Shambaugh’s research interests.

He previously served as first senior economist for international economics at the Council of Economic Advisers from 2009 to 2010, and as chief CEA economist from 2010 to 2011. Shambaugh also has been a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and an IMF visiting scholar.

Labor and education economics

Earlier this month, Obama named Sandra E. Black, another Berkeley graduate, to the Council of Economic Advisers.

Black, considered a leading expert in labor economics and the economics of education, earned a B.A. degree with highest honors in economics at Berkeley in 1991. She most recently has been an economics professor at the University of Texas at Austin, where her research is said to have focused on education, intergenerational mobility and early childhood development.

Sandra E. Black

Sandra E. Black is another UC Berkeley graduate joining the panel providing economic analysis for the White House. (Photo courtesy of the University of Texas, Austin)

Black has been a research associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research and a research fellow with the Institute for the Study of Labor. She also has been a professor of economics at UCLA, was an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and was affiliated with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

In addition, Black has been affiliated with the Paris School of Economics and the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, and was an editor of the Journal of Human Resources from 2005 to 2015.

Shambaugh and Black join Jason Furman, who heads the Council of Economic Advisers.

High-profile outreach

The appointments extend high-profile outreach by the White House to Berkeley economists, who often turn to public service.

Berkeley economics professor Christina Romer, an authority on monetary policy and business cycles, was chosen to lead the panel in 2008, as the United States entered a major economic recession. Laura Tyson, a UC Berkeley professor and former dean of the Berkeley- Haas School of Business, served as council chair from 1993 to 1996. Janet Yellen, a UC Berkeley economics professor emerita with Berkeley-Haas and the economics department, chairs the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. She headed the CEA from 1997 to 1999.

Two other Berkeley graduates joined the team of economists supporting the Council of Economic Advisers this summer: Laura Giuliano, who earned a Ph.D. in economics at Berkeley in 2003, and Robert Seamans, who earned a Ph.D. in business administration with a concentration on business and public policy at the Berkeley-Haas School of Business.

Giuliano is an associate professor of economics at the University of Miami’s School of Business Administration. Seamans is an associate professor of management and organizations at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He specializes in  innovation, technology and industrial organization.

Several other Berkeley professors have served with the Council of Economic Advisers as staff economists.

Among other recent appointees was Jesse Rothstein, professor of economics and public policy, who served as CEA senior economist from 2009 to 2010. Rothstein, who earned his Ph.D. in economics at Berkeley, also is director of Berkeley’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment. Previous members of the council with Berkeley ties also include Carl Shapiro, a UC Berkeley professor of business strategy at the Haas School of Business and in the economics department, who served from 2011-2012, and James Stock, who served as a CEA member from 2013-2014. Stock earned an M.S. in statistics at Berkeley in 1982 and a Ph.D. in economics in 1983.