At a Glance
- Career History: Director of the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution (2008 to 2009); Senior fellow at the Brookings (2007 to 2009); Chief of the macro-economic analysis team at the Federal Reserve Board (2002 to 2007)
- Hometown: Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
- Alma Mater: Princeton University, A.B. (economics), 1983; Harvard University, M.A. (economics), 1985; Harvard, PhD (economics), 1989
- Web site
Path to Power
Hailing from upstate New York, Elmendorf spent his early career as an academic and educator. He went to Princeton University as an undergraduate, studying economics, and then headed to Harvard University to obtain his master's and Ph.D. in the same subject. After graduating in 1989, he stayed at Harvard for five years, working closely with economics professor Martin Feldstein, the director of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) under President Reagan.
Career Civil Servant
In 1993, Elmendorf started his career as a civil servant, working for the CBO office for the first time. He spent a year as an associate analyst before joining full-time in 1994 as a principal analyst where Elmendorf focused on health- care issues and the economic effects of budget deficits. Working under CBO Director Robert D. Reischauer, Elmendorf worked on a team that concluded President Bill Clinton's health-reform package would cost much more than originally thought. This analysis helped cripple the Clinton overhaul.
Joining the CBO in late December 2008, Elmendorf is responsible for providing estimates of the cost of legislation on the federal budget.
A few of his first tasks: weighing in on the $787 billion economic stimulus package and weeks later, a $410 billion 'omnibus' bill, which allocated funds for the federal government through September 2009. The CBO was tasked with evaluating the long-term effects of these mammoth measures, while explaining their impact on the budget to lawmakers on the Hill.
Elmendorf has spent years working in government, and has had an opportunity to work closely with a variety of senior officials in the Obama administration. In the waning years of the Clinton administration, Elmendorf worked under Clinton Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers - Summers now heads Obama's National Economic Council (NEC).
In 2002, Elmendorf moved to the Fed, working under Alan Greenspan.