Joe Biden Fills Economic Team With Systemic Racism Experts
When it comes to creating his transition team and how he plans to build his administration, Joe Biden seems to be focusing on diversity.
The President-elect has reportedly tapped numerous experts in systemic racism to be a part of his economic team. One of those names included on this team is Mehrsa Baradaran, the Iranian-American woman who authored the book The Color of Money – a key reference on the racial wealth gap. She’ll be tasked with preparing the Treasury Department for the transition.
Biden has also nominated Lisa Cook, a Michigan State University economist, to be a member of the “landing team” for the Federal Reserve and banking and securities regulators. Cook’s resume is impressive. A Black woman, she was the first Marshall Scholar from Spelman College, earning her second B.A. from Oxford University in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and her Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley.
These two are among more than 500 experts who will focus on race as they shape the former vice president’s policies on issues like health, housing, and small-business lending.
According to observers, they’ve never seen expertise about race become so prominent in economic roles in a presidential administration.
“It’s an incredible signal to the Black community,” Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman, co-founder of the Sadie Collective, a nonprofit working to get more Black women in economics, said, according to Bloomberg. “This administration is going to be focused on thinking about: ‘How do we build up Black wealth? How do we close this racial wealth gap?’”
Joe Biden, in a press release, added how excited he was to build a team that will address economic issues specific to communities of color.
“I am proud to announce additional members of my senior team who will help us build back better than before,” he said. “America faces great challenges, and they bring diverse perspectives and a shared commitment to tackling these challenges and emerging on the other side a stronger, more united nation.”
“President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris have an ambitious and urgent agenda for action,” incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, said in the statement. “The team we have already started to assemble will enable us to meet the challenges facing our country on day one.”
The appointments come after the Biden-Harris team announced that people of color and women make up a significant portion of their overall transition team.
According to data provided to CNN, 46 percent of the President-elect’s transition staff are people of color with 52 percent being women. 41 percent of the senior staff are people of color with 53 percent of them being women. He reportedly pledges to build an administration that will “look like America.”
Additionally, Biden’s advisory board is also largely diverse. Nine of the 13 members of Biden’s COVID-19 team are people of color with five of the members being women.