Joe Biden announces all-woman communications team, to nominate Indian-American Neera Tanden as budget chief

Joe Biden announces all-woman communications team, to nominate Indian-American Neera Tanden as budget chief

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to name former Obama administration adviser Neera Tanden as director of the White House budget office, and economist Cecilia Rouse as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers as soon as Monday, according to a person familiar with the process.

Biden is also expected to pick Wally Adeyemo, who was senior international economic adviser under President Barack Obama, to serve as Janet Yellen's top deputy at the Treasury Department. Economists Jared Bernstein and Heather Boushey are expected to be named as members of the Council of Economic Advisers, the person said.

Biden picked Brian Deese, another adviser under Obama, to head the White House National Economic Council, the New York Times reported, citing three people with knowledge of the matter.

Biden's transition team declined to comment, while Tanden, Rouse, Adeyemo, Bernstein, Boushey, and Deese could not be reached for comment.

Biden's economic picks have been the subject of a tug-of-war between Democratic centrists, who mainly want a return to expertise and competence, and progressives, who want dramatic steps to fulfill a key Democratic campaign promise to make U.S. capitalism fairer for all. The nominations of Tanden, Rouse, and Adeyemo require Senate confirmation.

Just like in 2009 with Obama, whom Biden served as vice president, the incoming administration will inherit on Jan. 20 a struggling economy facing serious near-term challenges.

But this time, the economic blow dealt by the coronavirus pandemic has laid bare dramatic wealth and racial disparities that progressives want Biden's team to tackle swiftly. They have leaned hard on him to shun corporate lobbyists and prioritize diverse picks.