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Biden appoints Brian Deese, architect of the auto trade bailout, to move the Nationwide Financial Council

Brian Deese, Assistant Director of the White House National Economic Council, speaks in the White House briefing room in Washington, DC, USA on Tuesday, April 17, 2012.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

WASHINGTON – President-elect Joe Biden announced Thursday that Brian Deese, currently head of sustainable investing at BlackRock, will serve as director of the National Economic Council.

Deese is a former deputy director of the National Economic Council, deputy director of the Bureau of Administration and Budget, and senior advisor to President Obama.

The appointment, which does not require Senate confirmation, underscores the president-elect's focus on both restoring the economy from the Covid-19 recession and realigning U.S. efforts to address the effects and causes of climate change.

"Brian is one of the most tried and tested officials in the country," Biden said in a statement.

He is "a trustworthy voice I can count on to end the ongoing economic crisis, build a better economy that everyone deals with, and tackle the existential threat of climate change in ways that create well-paying American jobs." "added Biden.

After working on Obama's 2008 campaign, Deese joined the White House as a member of the National Economic Council and was later promoted to deputy director. During this time, Deese took a leading role in orchestrating the rescue package and restructuring the US auto industry.

In later years, he became Obama's senior advisor on issues partially focused on climate change and energy. After all, he played a central role in drafting the global climate protection agreement that was reached in Paris in 2015.

President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the landmark climate deal during his tenure, despite Biden having announced that he would reverse that decision.

Larry Kudlow, a former CNBC employee, is Trump's current NEC director after replacing Gary Cohn in 2018.

Some progressives have raised concerns about Deese's work for BlackRock, the world's largest wealth manager, arguing that the president's chief economic adviser shouldn't have close ties with corporations and the financial industry.

However, Deese's work for BlackRock focused on the manager's sustainable investment strategy as part of a top-down initiative to invest in and promote companies that have a proven record of good governance and work to reduce their impact on the environment.

Larry Fink, BlackRock CEO and Deese's boss, has repeatedly emphasized his company's growing focus on sustainable investment and climate change. In his letter to the CEOs from 2020, Fink himself wrote: "Climate risk is investment risk."

Through Deese, Biden will likely seek to advance a climate-friendly agenda that uses economic policy as a vehicle.

This tactic is evident in Biden's "Build Back Better" proposals, a comprehensive economic strategy that seeks to boost the US economy through a greater focus on gender equality, income equality, tax reform, and environmentalist-backed policies.

The president-elect has pledged around $ 2 trillion over the next four years to reduce carbon emissions and increase the amount of renewable energy used to generate electricity.

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