Dr. Cecilia Rouse talks about being appointed Brookings’s ninth President

June 28, 2023


Amy Liu: Greetings, I’m Amy Liu and I’m the current president of Brookings. And in the past year during the role, I have witnessed and experienced the incredible demand for all the great work and expertise at the institution. We now have a next leader who’s going to bring stellar experience that will further the quality, the credibility, and the impact of Brookings. It is my pleasure to introduce Dr. Cecilia Rouse as the next Brookings president.

Dr. Rouse has had a distinguished career. She has served three American presidents, most recently as the top economic adviser to President Biden. As the first Black American to ever serve as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, Dr. Rouse has counseled the president on domestic and international economic and human impacts of policy decisions. Her public service has been matched with her academic excellence as a labor economist and a former dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs.

Dr. Rouse, I am just thrilled to welcome you to Brookings.

Cecilia Rouse: Thank you so much for that generous introduction and importantly, thank you for the wonderful leadership you have shown and led with Brookings for this past year. I’m eager to join the Brookings community. I’ve known Brookings to be a global leader in public policy, conducting in-depth research to really guide decisionmaking, and I’m excited to join in January.

Liu: Tell us a little bit more about the path that took you to Brookings.

Rouse: I joined the academy because I believe in the importance of research. I love teaching and mentoring students and I very much like the environment of a university, but I was always focused on the role that research plays in bettering public policy. Because I believe it’s really with a focus on high-quality, creative, insightful research that we will break through and address the problems, pressing problems of today, and that’s exactly the kind of work that is done at Brookings.

Liu: So, what opportunities do you see for the future of Brookings?

Rouse: We’re at a very exciting point in history for the Brookings Institution. It has a phenomenal legacy. What we know about the future is that public policy is starting to recognize just how diverse our world is, in the United States, globally, and it is so important that the Brookings community reflect that diversity as well.

Liu: So, what are you most excited about with this opportunity?

Rouse: Brookings represents a community of world-class scholars and staff who conduct important research from an angle of expertise and knowledge, and thinking of creative ways to learn more, and to bring a different lens on any particular issue, with an eye toward solving the world’s problems. So, I’m excited to join a community that really shares that goal and those values that I’ve had my entire career.