UC Berkeley Business Professor Nominated as Adviser to Obama

Haas School of Business Professor Carl Shapiro To Join Council Pending Confirmation in Senate

Photo: Business professor Carl Shapiro will serve on the Council of Economic Advisers after receiving Senate confirmation. President Obama announced his nomination on Wednesday.
Business professor Carl Shapiro will serve on the Council of Economic Advisers after receiving Senate confirmation. President Obama announced his nomination on Wednesday.

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President Barack Obama announced Wednesday his intent to nominate UC Berkeley Economics and Haas School of Business professor Carl Shapiro to the Council of Economic Advisers.

The council is composed of a chairman and one member, currently Austan Goolsbee - who is on leave from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business - and Cecilia Rouse, respectively. The council's role is to advise the president on economic decisions. Pending Senate confirmation, Shapiro will take over for Rouse, who will return to teach at Princeton University, from which she is currently on leave.

"Carl Shapiro has demonstrated knowledge and dedication throughout his career," Obama said in a statement released Wednesday. "I am grateful that he has chosen to take on this important role, and I look forward to working with him in the months and years to come."

Shapiro is currently on leave from UC Berkeley and serves as deputy assistant attorney general for economic analysis at the U.S. Department of Justice in the Antitrust Division, a position he also held from 1995 to 1996. From 1998 to 2008, he served as the director of UC Berkeley's Institute of Business and Economic Research.

"Carl is one of the leading economists in the field of antitrust economics and has been for many years," said Vice President at Charles River Associates John Hayes, who was previously an economist for the U.S. Department of Justice. "This really is a step beyond that arena ... into a wider field of public policy."

Shapiro said he could not comment on the nomination currently.

"He brings a unique combination of skills," said Jonathan Baker, a professor of law at American University, who collaborated with Shapiro in 2008 on a paper regarding merger analysis. "(He has) deep practical experience in crafting public-sector solutions to real-world problems that protect the public interest without unnecessarily hobbling the private sector."

UC Berkeley has a history of professors serving as chairmen, members and senior economists for the council. Past chairmen include business professor Laura Tyson and business professor emerita Janet Yellen. Past senior economists for the council include business professors David Levine and James Wilcox.

"Recent administrations have recognized the quality of the faculty here and have called upon them for government service at the highest level," said Jonathan Leonard, George Quist Chair in Business Ethics at the business school, who served as a senior economist for the council in 1989. "The list is pretty prominent, and it's unusual for a university to have so many people selected for this kind of service."

Most recently, economics professor Christina Romer returned to teach at UC Berkeley after serving as chair for the council from 2009-10.

"It's just extraordinary that one campus gets this kind of recognition," Leonard said.

Contact Emma Dries at [email protected]

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