Obama Picks Veteran of Economic Team for No. 2 Spot at OMB

Brian Deese is currently deputy director of the White House National Economic Council Brian Deese is currently deputy director of the White House National Economic Council Carolyn Kaster/AP

President Obama on Monday announced his intention to name Brian Deese, currently deputy director of the White House National Economic Council, to be second in command at the Office of Management and Budget.

Deese, a veteran of progressive think tanks, would require confirmation by the Senate to assume the post as deputy budget director, prospectively working for Sylvia Mathews Burwell, a Wal-Mart Foundation executive whom Obama nominated for the top budget job.

Jeff Zients, the White House chief performance officer, has been serving as acting budget director. Zients’ own plans have yet to be announced, though he has been mentioned as a possible successor to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, who is returning to Dallas to join a law firm.

“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. “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.”

Deese, 35, joined the White House in 2009 after serving as an economic adviser both on the 2008 Obama presidential campaign and the Obama-Biden transition team. He focused on tax policy, financial regulation, housing, clean energy and manufacturing.

Before joining Obama’s team he was economic policy director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and a senior policy analyst for the Center for American Progress. Deese also worked for the Center for Global Development. A graduate of Middlebury College, he holds a law degree from Yale.

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