Professor Austan Goolsbee Named Chairman of Council of Economic Advisers

Published on September 10, 2010

Austan Goolsbee, the Robert P. Gwinn Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, has been appointed chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers.

Goolsbee is “one of the finest economists in the country,” Obama said during a September 10 news conference when the appointment was announced. “He is not just a brilliant economist, but someone who has deep appreciation for how the economy affects everyday people.”

Goolsbee has been a member of the Council since Obama took office in 2009, and also serves as staff director and chief economist for the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. At 41, Goolsbee is the youngest chairman of the Council since Arthur Okun served under President Lyndon B. Johnson.

“I am confident that Austan will provide a thoughtful perspective on the critical issues facing our country,” said Harry Davis, interim dean of Chicago Booth. “In these difficult times here and abroad, it is encouraging that several prominent members of our faculty are making important contributions in key roles within the public sector.”

Goolsbee joined the Chicago Booth faculty in 1995 and is currently on academic leave while he serves in Washington. His scholarly research includes the new economy, government policy, taxes and technology.

He served as a member of the panel of Economic Advisers to the Congressional Budget Office, a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a research fellow at the American Bar Foundation. He was a senior economic adviser to the Democratic Leadership Council and the Progressive Policy Institute.

Goolsbee was selected by the Financial Times as one of six “Gurus of the Future”/Best under 40 (2005), named one of the Young Global Leaders at the 2005 World Economic Forum, and one of the 100 Global Leaders for Tomorrow at the 2002 World Economic Forum.

He received a B.A. summa cum laude in economics from Yale University in 1991, an M.A. in economics from Yale also in 1991, and a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1995. Goolsbee was a Fulbright Scholar and recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship.

The Council of Economic Advisers, an agency within the Executive Office of the President, is charged with offering the President objective economic advice on the formulation of both domestic and international economic policy. The Council bases its recommendations and analysis on economic research and empirical evidence. Goolsbee succeeds Christina Romer as head of the Council.

Goolsbee is one of many Chicago Booth faculty members who have played active roles advising governments worldwide. Professor Raghuram Rajan serves as honorary economic advisor to India’s prime minister, and Professor Richard Thaler is working as a behavioral economic advisor to the British government. Both Rajan and Thaler continue to teach at Booth while performing public service.