News Release

Jason Furman Named Senior Fellow and Director of The Hamilton Project

December 18, 2006

Noted economist Jason Furman, a visiting scholar at New York University’s Wagner School, and a non-resident senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, will join the Brookings Institution as a senior fellow and director of The Hamilton Project, Brookings President Strobe Talbott announced today. Furman will begin his new position in early January.

Furman will succeed Peter Orszag as the director of The Hamilton Project. Orszag was recommended to the position of director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) by Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND), incoming Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, and Representative John Spratt (D-SC), incoming Chairman of the House Budget Committee. The Senate President Pro Tempore and the Speaker of the House of Representatives will jointly make the appointment of the new director in January, after considering recommendations from both Chairmen.

Furman previously served as special assistant to the President for economic policy during the Clinton Administration, where he chaired the interagency technical working group on Social Security reform and was the principal White House staff member responsible for budget and tax issues. He also previously served as a staff economist at the Council of Economic Advisers, and as senior economic adviser to the chief economist of the World Bank.

“The Hamilton Project has had a tremendous impact on economic thinking since its launch in April,” said William Gale, vice president and director of Brookings’s Economic Studies Program. “As one of the nation’s top economists, Jason will play a pivotal role in promoting economic policies that can help strengthen the middle class and enhance broad-based growth and prosperity.”

“I’m pleased and honored to be joining The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution,” Furman said. “This organization has been instrumental in a short period of time in introducing economic policy ideas based on experience rather than ideology, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to continue the important work of the project.”

“Jason’s expertise in the areas of tax policy, health policy, Social Security and other economic issues will help further the work that Peter has contributed so greatly to in putting together an economic strategy to promote growth, broad participation in that growth and increased economic security in our country,” noted Robert E. Rubin, Advisory Council member for The Hamilton Project and former Treasury Secretary.

Furman received his B.A. and his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University. He has published numerous articles including: “Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right,” “Tax Reform and Poverty,” “Our Unhealthy Tax Code,” “Economic Crises: Evidence and Insights from East Asia,” and the “Economic Consequences of Inequality.”

In the first quarter of 2007, The Hamilton Project will release several new proposals focusing on education and health care, designed to strengthen the social safety net for American families and address the growing concern of economic insecurity.

The Hamilton Project, named after the nation’s first Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton, seeks to advance America’s promise of opportunity, prosperity, and growth. The project’s economic strategy reflects a judgment that long-term prosperity is best achieved by making economic growth broad-based, by enhancing individual economic security, and by embracing a role for effective government in making needed public investments. The project’s strategy —strikingly different from the theories driving current economic policy— calls for fiscal discipline and for increased public investment in key growth-enhancing areas. The project will put forward innovative policy ideas from leading economic thinkers throughout the United States—ideas based on experience and evidence, not ideology and doctrine—to introduce new, sometimes controversial, policy options into the national debate with the goal of improving the country’s economic policy.

About Brookings

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