At a Glance
- Career History: Director of the McKinsey Global Institute (2002 to 2009); Director at McKinsey (1991 to 2002); Financial Analyst at Goldman Sachs (1987 to 1989)
- Birthday: March 16, 1965
- Hometown: Bogata, Colombia
- Alma Mater: Wesleyan University, B.A. (economics and in the College of Social Studies), 1987; Harvard University, MBA, 1991
- Spouse: Scott Pearson
- Web site
Path to Power
Born in Bogota, Colombia as a U.S. citizen abroad, Farrell attended Wesleyan University in 1987, earning a B.A. in economics. After Wesleyan, Farrell joined the Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs, where she worked two years before attending Harvard Business School.
After obtaining her MBA in 1991, Farrell joined McKinsey & Co. in its Washington, DC office as a director. In 2002, Farrell got a promotion to head MGI, McKinsey's economic-research department. Farrell stayed at MGI until heading to the White House as deputy director of the NEC in late January 2009.
In January 2009, Farrell joined the Obama administration as the NEC deputy director. While her role was expected to focus mainly on helping save the financial industry that had been crippled by subprime mortgages, Farrell's job description expanded in February 2009.
Auto Task Force
That's when auto giants GM and Chrysler submitted plans to the government asking for more money outside of the nearly $25 billion received in December 2008 to head off what they said was imminent collapse. In response, Obama created the Auto Task Force to review GM and Chrysler's plans, as well as devise strategies to save the struggling companies and aid cities that have long relied on the auto industry for jobs.
Farrell works at the NEC with co-deputy director Jason Furman. She works directly under NEC Director Lawrence H. Summers. Her duties on the Auto Task Force means Farrell works closely with Treasury advisers on the auto industry like Ron Bloom.
She also works on the NEC with former McKinsey colleague and health-care expert Robert Kocher.
Farrell has donated $39,000 since 2001, all of which has gone to Democratic candidates or causes. In 2001, she gave the DNC Services Corp. $20,000. In 2007, Farrell gave Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) $4,600 and in 2008 Obama (D) received $2,300, for their respective campaigns.