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Remembering Alice Rivlin

On May 14, 2019, Alice M. Rivlin passed away at the age of 88 after a battle against cancer. She was a cherished member of the Brookings community for more than sixty years, a trailblazer in the field of economic policy, and a civil servant of unparalleled devotion. Since her passing, Rivlin’s life has been remembered by her friends and colleagues and in news outlets far and wide through numerous tributes, notable ones of which are listed below.

Alice Rivlin

Statement from President Clinton on the passing of Alice Rivlin

Clinton Foundation – “Alice Rivlin was a truly extraordinary public servant.  When she joined my Administration in 1993, she was already a legend in Washington for her work in the Johnson Administration and as the first Director of the Congressional Budget Office.  No one knew more about the federal budget than she did, and as Deputy Director and later Director of OMB, she played a crucial role in the development of our economic plan and our efforts to balance the budget, which resulted in three consecutive surpluses and strong income gains for all Americans.”

Statement by Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome H. Powell on the passing of Alice Rivlin

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System – “Alice Rivlin, who served as Vice Chair of the Board of Governors from 1996 to 1999, made great and lasting contributions as a leader and economic policymaker and broke barriers as a woman in the economics profession. I valued our friendship and extend my deepest sympathy to her family.”

Hoyer Statement on the Passing of Alice Rivlin

Office of the Majority Leader – “House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer released the following statement today on the passing of Alice Rivlin: “I was saddened to learn of the passing this morning of Alice Rivlin, who worked her entire career to promote a more stable fiscal outlook for our country and greater economic opportunities for future generations of Americans.  Her loss is a blow to our nation, which she served with distinction in a number of important roles over more than half a century.”

CBO Honors the Memory of Alice Rivlin

Congressional Budget Office – “The Congressional Budget Office mourns the passing of its founding Director, Alice M. Rivlin, who led CBO from 1975 to 1983. With vision, wisdom, and determination, she established the agency’s structure and formulated procedures, standards, and goals that have guided it for more than four decades. Above all, she forged a commitment to providing objective, nonpartisan information to help the Congress make effective budget and economic policy. And her commitment to high-quality analysis, well thought out and clearly presented, continues to be a guiding principle of CBO.”

Rep. Shalala Tribute to Alice Rivlin

C-Span – “Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL) pays tribute to her “dear friend” Alice M. Rivlin, founding director of the Congressional Budget Office, who passed away at age 88 on May 14. Rep. Shalala said “I rise to celebrate the life of one of the greatest public servants of any age—the indomitable Alice Rivlin who died of cancer last week.””

Feinstein Statement on Passing of Alice Rivlin

Office of Senator Dianne Feinstein – “Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on the passing of former CBO director Alice Rivlin: “As the first director of the Congressional Budget Office in 1975, Alice Rivlin used her keen intellect and sense of fairness to create an agency that would do more than just crunch the numbers. I remember her well. Today, those of us in Congress find the CBO to be invaluable as a key source on a wide range of policy. Having an office that can offer nonpartisan analysis is worth its price in gold in today’s partisan Washington.”

Alice M. Rivlin, 88, a Leading Government Economist, Is Dead

New York Times – “Alice M. Rivlin, who had a guiding hand in national economic affairs for decades, playing a foundational role with the Congressional Budget Office and serving as budget director, a cabinet-level post, under President Bill Clinton, died on Tuesday at her home in Washington. She was 88.”

DealBook Briefing: The Forever Trade War?

New York Times – “Alice Rivlin, the former Fed vice chairwoman, has died. (FT)”

Alice Rivlin, budget maestro who ‘helped save’ Washington in fiscal crisis, dies at 88

Washington Post – “Alice M. Rivlin, a master of budgetary policy who held senior positions in the executive and legislative branches of government — notably as founding director of the Congressional Budget Office — and whose stewardship of the D.C. Financial Control Board guided the once-insolvent city to solid financial footing, died May 14 at her home in Washington. She was 88. The cause was cancer, said her son Douglas Rivlin.”

Alice Rivlin was a humble intellectual giant

Washington Post – “Regarding Anthony A. Williams’s May 15 op-ed, “Alice Rivlin turned visions into reality”: I worked with Alice M. Rivlin in 1995 and 1996 at the White House when she was director of the Office of Management and Budget. I was finishing my dissertation on regional economic and political integration of southern Africa at Howard University and had been hired as a special policy analyst to catalogue Ms. Rivlin’s work for the Library of Congress. The volumes of information in her files highlighted a career that spanned decades of policy work that crisscrossed most of Washington’s most powerful economic and political institutions.”

America should try to do better. It owes Alice Rivlin that much.

Washington Post – “For a younger generation of women, Alice M. Rivlin was an inspiration. Economics is a man’s field — less so now than in the past — but she showed that a woman could climb to the top of the profession at some of the most prestigious economic institutions: the Congressional Budget Office, the Federal Reserve, the Office of Management and Budget and others. For me, she was more than just an inspiration; she was a close friend and colleague.”

Alice Rivlin turned visions of Washington into reality

Washington Post – “Alice M. Rivlin, who died Tuesday at 88, was not some callous budget maven or austere fiscal hawk who cared only about balanced budgets and financial austerity. She wanted government to work and investment to flow back into the District in order for the city to meet its responsibilities to educate our children, to heal our sick, to protect our families, to restore our community.”

With Alice Rivlin’s death, D.C. has lost a fierce advocate

Washington Post – “FOUNDING DIRECTOR of the Congressional Budget Office. Vice chair of the Federal Reserve. Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. Senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Co-chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force. Winner of a MacArthur Foundation “genius” award. Democratic Woman of the Year. Recipient of the Paul A. Volcker Lifetime Achievement Award for Economic Policy. Even a brief stint, we are proud to say, as a Washington Post editorial writer. But of the many titles and honorifics that marked the extraordinary life of Alice M. Rivlin, none were more consequential than the work she did for the citizens of the District.”

The Finance 202: Trump’s trade war sends big business to K Street

Washington Post ­– “The Brookings Institution and the Washington Center for Equitable Growth host a joint event on preparing for the next recession on Thursday…. Alice Rivlin, budget maestro, dies at 88: “Alice M. Rivlin, a master of budgetary policy who held senior positions in the executive and legislative branches of government — notably as founding director of the Congressional Budget Office — and whose stewardship of the D.C. Financial Control Board guided the once-insolvent city to solid financial footing, died May 14 at her home in Washington,” Elaine S. Povich writes in The Post’s obit.”

Alice Rivlin, Longtime Authority on Federal Budget, Former Fed Official, Diesv

Wall Street Journal – “Alice Rivlin, the first director of the Congressional Budget Office and a leading authority for decades in Washington budget and policy circles, died Tuesday. She was 88.

Her death was confirmed by the Brookings Institution in Washington.”

Real Time Economics: Why Aren’t Americans Having More Babies?

Wall Street Journal – “In Memoriam: Alice Rivlin—Alice Rivlin, the first director of the Congressional Budget Office and a leading authority in budget and policy circles, died Tuesday. She was 88. Over the course of a 62-year Washington career, Ms. Rivlin helped mold the CBO into an independent analytical institution, served as President Clinton’s budget director and spent three years as the second most powerful Federal Reserve official. Although she described herself as a Democrat, she managed to infuriate presidents of both parties with her focus on budget discipline, deficit reduction and research-based nonpartisan decisions, David Harrison writes.”

Lawrence remembers Alice Rivlin

MSNBC – “Congress didn’t know what it was doing until Alice Rivlin told them.”

Alice Rivlin, First Woman To Serve As Budget Director, Dies At Age 88

NPR – “Alice Rivlin, former President Bill Clinton’s budget director who overcame sexism to become the first woman to serve in that role, died at 88 after a battle with cancer, the Brookings Institution confirmed Tuesday. Her name may not be widely known outside of Washington, but she had a hand in five decades of the nation’s economic policy. At the peak of her power, she was one of the most influential and respected non-elected officials in the country.”

Alice Rivlin, first woman to lead White House budget office, dies at age 88

CNN – “Alice Rivlin, the first leader of the Congressional Budget Office and the first female director of the White House budget office, died at age 88, The Brookings Institution said Tuesday.”

Alice Rivlin, former OMB director during Clinton administration, dead at 88

Fox Business ­– “Alice Rivlin, who served as the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) during former President Bill Clinton’s administration, died Tuesday at age 88, the Brookings Institution and her family said.”

Alice Rivlin, Fed Vice Chair Who Was Deficit Hawk, Dies

Bloomberg – ““Alice Rivlin, the founding director of the Congressional Budget Office and a relentless fighter for deficit-reduction while vice chair of the Federal Reserve, has died. She was 88. She died Tuesday at her home in Washington, according to an emailed statement from the Brookings Institution, where Rivlin was senior fellow. The cause was cancer.”

Shouldn’t More Democrats Run for Senate?

Bloomberg Opinion – “And the great Alice Rivlin has died. Rivlin, an economist, was an exemplary public servant, both in and out of government, for decades. Most notably, she set up the Congressional Budget Office and set it on a path of independence and respected expertise, but there was much more. A great American and true hero of the republic.”

How Alice Rivlin Helped Save the American Economy

Bloomberg Opinion – “In a career in public service that spanned five decades, Alice Rivlin was known above all for her obsession with fiscal responsibility. When she died yesterday, the lead sentence in one obituary called her “a relentless fighter for deficit reduction.””

CBO founding director Alice Rivlin dies

Politico ­– “Alice Rivlin, the founding director of the Congressional Budget Office, has died. She was 88 years old. Rivlin was appointed to CBO in 1975 and holds the record for the longest tenure in that post, until 1983. She was most recently a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, where she worked on economic studies and health policy.”

CBO founding director Alice Rivlin dies

Politico – “Alice Rivlin, the founding director of the Congressional Budget Office, has died. She was 88 years old. Rivlin was appointed to CBO in 1975 and holds the record for the longest tenure in that post, until 1983.She served as a staunch advocate for the independence of the agency, which conducts nonpartisan analysis of budget and economic issues in connection with the congressional budget process.”

POLITICO Playbook: How would you explain the Democratic investigations to a Washington outsider?

Politico Playbook – “Elaine S. Povich in WaPo: “Alice M. Rivlin, a master of budgetary policy who held senior positions in the executive and legislative branches of government — notably as founding director of the Congressional Budget Office — and whose stewardship of the D.C. Financial Control Board guided the once-insolvent city to solid financial footing, died May 14 at her home in Washington. She was 88. The cause was cancer.””

Alice Rivlin, first CBO director who later served on Fed and in White House, dies at 88

MarketWatch ­– “Alice Rivlin, who played an influential part in all of the economic policy debates in Washington for more than 40 years, died Tuesday at age 88, after a battle with cancer. The Brookings Institution, Rivlins home in Washington when she was not in government, announced her death.”

How the CBO became “God” in Washington’s budget battles

Marketplace – “The agency is known for its nonpartisan and independent analysis of the federal budget and spending proposals. That reputation was established in part by its first executive director, Alice Rivlin, who died on May 14 at the age of 88.”

Potholes can tell you a lot about inequality

Marketplace – “What consumer confidence can tell us about actual consumption and the legacy of Alice Rivlin, the founding director of the CBO.”

Alice Rivlin shaped every major policy debate of the past 40 years

Vox ­– “Alice Rivlin, the founding director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), died on Tuesday at age 88. Rivlin, a PhD in economics, had a long and varied career, serving as budget director and No. 2 at the Federal Reserve under Bill Clinton. In more recent decades, she served as a kind of center-right Democratic éminence grise, teaming up with Paul Ryan to push privatization of Medicare and block-granting of Medicaid, and working with retired Republican Senator Pete Domenici (NM) to push a balanced budget plan.”

Axios Markets

Axios – “Alice Rivlin, a founding director of the Congressional Budget Office and vice chair of the Fed died at her home in Washington at the age of 88.”

Former Fed Vice Chair Alice Rivlin dies at age 88

Yahoo Finance ­– “Former Fed Vice Chair Alice Rivlin passed away at the age of 88. Yahoo Finance’s Jen Rogers, Myles Udland and Brian Cheung discuss.”

China’s retail sales growth slumps to 16-year low as trade war escalates: Morning Brief

Yahoo Finance – “Alice Rivlin, former head of the Office of Management of Budget, and vice chair of the Federal Reserve Board, died of cancer at the age of 88 on Tuesday. Rivlin, known for her penchant for budget economics, also headed the Congressional Budget Office as its first ever director in 1974 and left a lasting imprint on the way that the U.S. government approaches funding.”

A requiem for a legend — and a friend: Alice Rivlin

The Hill – “Imagine being a kid who grew up worshiping Joe DiMaggio before being lucky enough to meet him one day. Then, imagine getting to be his teammate. That trajectory mimics my own extreme good fortune in getting to know and ultimately work with Alice Rivlin, the famed economist and American hero, who passed away Tuesday at the age of 88.”

CBO founding director Alice Rivlin dies

The Hill – “Alice Rivlin, an economist who served as the founding director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), died on Tuesday of cancer, the Brookings Institution said. She was 88.”

On The Money: GOP angst grows over Trump’s trade war | Trump promises help for ‘Patriot Farmers’ | Markets rebound | CBO founding director Alice Rivlin dies | Senate to vote on disaster aid bill next week

The Hill – “CBO founding director Alice Rivlin dies: Alice Rivlin, an economist who served as the founding director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), died on Tuesday of cancer, the Brookings Institution said. She was 88.”

Thank you, Alice Rivlin

Forbes ­– “Alice Rivlin, who died yesterday at age 88, was a policy legend. She also was a kind, generous, and extraordinarily tough woman. Over more than half-century of work in Washington, she was friend and mentor to hundreds of policy experts, journalists, and public officials.”

The Blessed Alice

Forbes – “Alice Rivlin made the world a better place in so many ways. She will forgive me for ignoring most of them in this brief essay because she was remarkably modest. Instead, this is a personal reflection based upon a string of tweets I wrote yesterday when I heard she had died.”

Alice Rivlin Was The Original Economist Mom

Forbes ­– “Upon hearing the sad news of Alice Rivlin’s death yesterday at the age of 88, I tweeted that “Alice was my biggest role model” – and almost immediately I was expecting at least some to correct me with a “um, you mean greatest” since Alice was not a large, but a petite person.  But as is apparent from all the accolades that have poured out in the past day, Alice had  a “big,” wide-reaching, and influential presence in the top echelons of the DC policy community for longer than most of us have been alive.”

Omarosa Equal Pay, Beto Reboot, TripAdvisor: Broadsheet May 15

Fortune  – “C(BOss). If you’ve ever spent time thinking about the Congressional Budget Office, you can thank Alice Rivlin. Its first director and former Fed vice chairwoman, Rivlin died at 88 on Tuesday. A sample accomplishment: “She managed to infuriate presidents of both parties with her focus on budget discipline, deficit reduction and research-based nonpartisan decisions.””

Alice Rivlin, first CBO chief and Clinton budget director, dies

Roll Call – “Alice M. Rivlin, an economist, budget and health care expert respected on both sides of the aisle and the first director of the Congressional Budget Office, died Tuesday at the age of 88 after a battle with cancer. The Brookings Institution, where she served as a senior fellow, confirmed Rivlin’s death.”

Phillip Swagel officially chosen for CBO director

Roll Call – “In an interview, Swagel said it is too soon to discuss his priorities as director. Still, he said he has been thinking about Alice Rivlin, the first director of the CBO who died earlier this week, “and the incredible contribution she made to the office and to the country, and I’m hoping to live up to that standard and it’s a task.” “I’d like to raise that legacy at every moment I can especially while the news of her passing is so recent,” he said.”

Former Clinton administration budget director Alice Rivlin dies

Washington Examiner – “Former Clinton administration budget chief and Federal Reserve Board Vice Chairwoman Alice Rivlin has died. The Brookings Institution, where Rivlin served as a senior fellow for economic studies, confirmed the news.”

Daily on Healthcare: Voters happy with their healthcare, survey finds, highlighting risks of sweeping reform plans

Washington Examiner – “RIP ALICE RIVLIN: The founding director of the Congressional Budget Office and former Federal Reserve Board Vice Chair Alice Rivlin died of cancer Tuesday at age 88. A trained economist, Rivlin was awarded the Paul Volcker Lifetime Achievement Award for Economic Policy from the National Association of Business Economics in 2015, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, unofficially known as the “genius grant,” in 1983, and a number of other honorary degrees and public policy leadership awards. She was most recently working as a senior fellow for economic studies at the Brookings Institution.”

Former Bush economist Phillip Swagel to lead Congressional Budget Office

Washington Examiner – “In an interview with the Washington Examiner, Swagel said that he looked to founding CBO Director Alice Rivlin as inspiration. Rivlin, who had a storied career in economics and public policy that included becoming the first woman to serve as Office of Management and Budget director and Federal Reserve Board vice chair, died on Tuesday at 88.”

A Tribute To Alice Rivlin

Health Affairs – “On Tuesday, May 14, 2019, Alice Rivlin, economist, founding director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and one of Washington’s best-known deficit hawks, died at the age of 88. Tributes and praise for her long and successful career have been circulating since her death—from Jason Grumet, President of the Bipartisan Policy Center where she has been involved since 2010, current CBO director Keith Hall, The Brookings Institution where she had been a fellow since 1999, and many others.”

Alice Rivlin: A Consequential Life

Health Affairs – “Alice Rivlin, who passed away on May 14, was short physically but stood tall in every other respect. She served, with distinction, in a wide variety of high-level positions: as the founding director of the Congressional Budget Office; Deputy-Director and then Director of the Office of Management and Budget; Vice-chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve; Chair of the District of Columbia Financial Assistance and Management Authority; and other consequential government positions as well.”

Alice Rivlin Made State and Local Governments Better, Too

Tax Vox – “Our Tax Policy Center (TPC) colleague Bill Gale – no slouch when it comes to diagnosing federal budget ills and suggesting remedies – says he had an epiphany early in his tenure at the Brookings Institution. He realized all his work might be derivative of Alice Rivlin’s. We state and local budget geeks feel exactly the same way.”

The Finance 202: Farmers are bracing for more tariff pain. But they’re sticking with Trump — for now

Daily Caller  – ““That is the sort of thinking we want to try to avoid in this classroom.” Those were Alice Rivlin’s exact words to me — actually, her first words to me — on my first day in her graduate public policy class at George Mason University 27 years ago. Little did I know, but that moment marked the start of my professional career and an improbable, and life-changing, friendship with one of America’s most decent and deserving public servants.”

Breakfast links: What areas will see the most development along the Purple Line?

Greater Greater Washington – “Alice Rivlin, a nationally accomplished economist and DC resident who led the Financial Control Board until 2001 and helped put the city on solid economic footing, has died at the age of 88.  (Tom Sherwood / City Paper)”

An Appreciation for Alice Rivlin

City Paper ­– “Alice Rivlin didn’t need to be bothered with little ol’ local Washington. The famed economist who lived in D.C. and had a 60-year association with the Brookings Institution held the highest federal and congressional posts dealing with the national economy.”

Morning Roundup: Remembering D.C. In The 2000s

DCist ­– “Alice Rivlin, who led the D.C. Financial Control Board, passed away at 88.”

Remembering Trailblazing Economist Alice Rivlin ’52

Bryn Mawr College – “Alice Rivlin ’52, whose distinguished career included serving on the senior staff of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare during the Johnson administration and as the first director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), passed away on Tuesday at 88.”

Karl W. Smith: How Alice Rivlin helped save the American economy

Akron Beacon Journal – “In a career in public service that spanned five decades, Alice Rivlin was known above all for her obsession with fiscal responsibility. When she died last week, the lead sentence in one obituary called her “a relentless fighter for deficit reduction.””

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