News Release

Lawyer-Economist Robert Litan to Rejoin Brookings as Director of Economics

May 1, 1996

Robert E. Litan, associate director of the Office of Management and Budget, has been appointed director of the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution, President Michael Armacost announced today.

Litan, a economist and lawyer who has served in a variety of positions in both the Clinton and Carter Administrations and in private legal practice, will return to Brookings where he was a senior fellow in Economic Studies from 1984 to 1993.

“We are delighted to welcome Bob Litan back to the Brookings fold after his service in government,” said Armacost. “He will bring enormous energy, a wealth of experience, and considerable prestige to the Economic Studies Program, and we look forward to employing his creative leadership skills.”

Litan will replace Henry Aaron, who has served as Economic Studies director since October of 1990. Aaron will embark on a one-year sabbatical with the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University before returning to Brookings in 1997.

In October 1993, Litan was appointed by President Clinton as deputy assistant attorney general for antitrust at the Department of Justice. In 1995, he moved to OMB, where he directed the General Government and Finance Division.

During his tenure at Brookings, Litan was described as a “public policy entrepreneur,” creating two specialized programs, the Center for Law, Economics, and Politics and the Center for Economic Progress and Employment. More than 20 separate books and studies were produced from research at these multidisciplinary centers.

He headed numerous projects on reform of financial institutions, overhauling the civil justice system,
liability law, trade, and regulatory policy. Among books he wrote or co-authored at Brookings are
Growth with Equity: Economic Policymaking for the Next Century, with Martin Baily and Gary Burtless;
What Should Banks Do?; The Revolution in U.S. Finance; and American Living Standards: Threats and
, with Charles L. Schultze and Robert Z. Lawrence.

Litan was a practicing attorney at the Washington law firms of Arnold & Porter from 1979 to 1982 and at Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy from 1982-1990.

Born in Kansas in 1950, Litan graduated in 1972 from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and received his J.D. as well as his Ph.D. in economics from Yale University. He lives with his wife and children in Rockville, Maryland.

About Brookings

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to conduct in-depth, nonpartisan research to improve policy and governance at local, national, and global levels.