Obama picks Brian Deese as deputy budget director nominee

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg - Brian Deese, deputy director of the White House National Economic Council.

President Obama said Monday that he will nominate longtime economic aide Brian Deese, deputy director of the National Economic Council, as his next deputy budget director.

The position would be a sigificant promotion for Deese, 35, who has played a key role in coordinating Obama’s budget policy over the past several years as the president has repeatedly clashed with Republicans over taxes and spending. He also has been an adviser on housing and manufacturing issues and helped run the task force that organized the rescue of General Motors and Chrysler.

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“From helping to navigate our rescue of a financial system on the brink of collapse to retooling a flatlining auto industry to crafting a policy to put our nation on a fiscally sustainable path, Brian Deese has proven an indispensable member of my economic team,” Obama said in a statement Monday. “He has a deep and intuitive understanding of economic and budgetary policy, and I am confident he will serve America well in this new role.”

The position, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, is subject to Senate confirmation. Also awaiting confirmation is Obama’s nominee for budget director, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who was deputy budget director in the Bill Clinton administration.

The job of deputy budget director could launch Deese into more senior administration posts.

Deese, who graduated from Middlebury College and Yale Law School, follows in a long line of wunderkind economic policy officials who moved up the ranks of Democratic administrations, including his boss, National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling, who followed a trajectory similar to Deese’s in the Clinton administration.

Deese got his start at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and moved on to the Center for Global Development, where he wrote about foreign-aid policy. He then joined the Center for American Progress when it was serving as a sort of Democratic shadow cabinet during the George W. Bush administration.

He then became economic policy director on Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign before joining the Obama team.

Former Treasury secretary Timothy F. Geithner called Deese “one of the brightest economic minds in government today,” adding: “He is thoughtful and disciplined, able to dig deep on a broad range of complex policy issues and quick when it counts. He is a superb talent with great judgment.”

 
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