Chad Bown named to senior post on president's Council of Economic Advisers

Provost proud of his accomplishments, sorry to lose 'aggressive' economist

Chad Bown

President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers has tapped Brandeis Economics Professor Chad Bown to serve as a senior economist. At the council, Bown expects to handle what he terms a “portfolio” that reflects his research and expertise in international trade.

This area, Bown says, has taken on heightened importance because of the global nature of the economic crisis and recession that began in 2007-08.

Bown has been teaching in Brandeis’ Department of Economics and International Business School since 1999. In May 2010 he became a professor. At the time he was on a leave of absence working at the World Bank in Washington D.C. In accepting the new post, Bown credited Brandeis for helping position him as a sought-after expert in his field. 

“I am extremely honored and humbled by the opportunity to work for the White House and engage in this particular area of public service,” he wrote Brandeis Provost Marty Wyngaarden Krauss, explaining his decision to stay in Washington.

Bown is now on his second consecutive leave of absence and Brandeis allows only two in a row. Krauss says she understands that his return is unlikely.

“There’s a big world for him to contribute to,” adding, “We are excited and proud for him. We see this as a positive reflection on Brandeis.”

Krauss said she was not surprised about the appointment. “Chad is already recognized as one of the most creative and intellectually aggressive — and I mean that in a good way — economists we’ve had at Brandeis,” she said.

Bown’s departure presents a welcome problem for the university, according to Krauss. “He’s a tenured full professor and we’ve lost him,” she said, but good professors are in demand at high levels of government and society outside academia and, as an institution, “If you didn’t have this happen, you’d worry.” 

Brandeis, she said, has “an engaged faculty that wants to make a difference. When change is being made, it wants to be at the table.”

The Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) is “charged with offering the president objective economic advice on the formulation of both domestic and international economic policy,” according to the CEA website. Bown is one of six senior economists currently on the staff.

He is not the first from Brandeis to accept appointment to the council. Dean of Arts and Sciences Adam Jaffe and Professor Catherine Mann also have served as senior economists there.

Bown received his B.A. magna cum laude in economics and international relations from Bucknell University. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

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