Alice Rivlin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Alice M. Rivlin
Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve
In office
June 25, 1996 – July 16, 1999
Nominated by Bill Clinton
Preceded by Alan S. Blinder
Succeeded by Roger W. Ferguson Jr.
30th Director of the Office of Management and Budget
In office
October 17, 1994 – April 26, 1996
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Leon Panetta
Succeeded by Franklin D. Raines
1st Director of the Congressional Budget Office
In office
February 24, 1975 – August 31, 1983
Preceded by none
Succeeded by Rudolph G. Penner
Personal details
Born Alice Mitchell
(1931-03-04) March 4, 1931 (age 83)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Lewis Allen Rivlin
Profession Economist

Alice Mitchell Rivlin (born March 4, 1931, in Philadelphia) is an economist, is a former U.S. Cabinet official and an expert on the U.S. federal budget. She has served as the Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve, the Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, and the first Director of the Congressional Budget Office. In early 2010, Rivlin was appointed by President Barack Obama to his National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

Early life and education[edit]

Rivlin is a daughter of the physicist Allan C. G. Mitchell and a granddaughter of the astronomer Samuel Alfred Mitchell. Her ancestry is in the main Cornish from Cornwall in the UK.[1]

Rivlin grew up in Bloomington, Indiana where her father was on the faculty of Indiana University. She briefly attended University High School in Bloomington before leaving to attend high school at The Madeira School. She then went on to Bryn Mawr College. Initially, she studied history, but after taking an economics course at Indiana University she decided to major in economics instead. She earned her Bachelor's of Art in 1952, writing her senior thesis on the economic integration of Western Europe. Upon graduation, Rivlin moved to Europe. In Paris she held a junior position working on the Marshall Plan. Rivlin applied to the public administration program at Harvard, but was rejected on the grounds that as a woman of marriageable age she was a poor risk. Instead she applied to Harvard's economics program and earned a Ph.D. from Radcliffe College (Harvard's separate collegiate program for women at the time) in 1958.


Alice Rivlin has been affiliated several times with the Brookings Institution, including stints in 1957–66, 1969–75, 1983–93, and 1999 to the present. She is currently a visiting professor at Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy. From 1968 to 1969, she was appointed by President Lyndon Johnson as Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. In 1971 she authored Systematic Thinking for Social Action. She was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1973.[2]

She was the first director of the newly established Congressional Budget Office during 1975–83, where she was a persistent and vociferous critic of Reaganomics as head of the CBO. In 1983, she won a MacArthur Foundation "genius" award. Under President Bill Clinton she served as the deputy director of Office of Management and Budget from 1993 to 1994, director of OMB from 1994 to 1996 (becoming the first woman to hold the Cabinet-level position), and a governor of the Federal Reserve from 1996 to 1999, during which time she served as the Fed's vice-chair. She was also chair of the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority from 1998 to 2001.

In 2012 she received a Foremother Award from the National Research Center for Women & Families. [3]

Debt reduction/fiscal management panels in 2010[edit]

Rivlin and former Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) were named in January, 2010 to chair a Debt Reduction Task Force, sponsored by the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C.[4]

Rivlin soon thereafter was named by President Obama to his 18-member commission, a bipartisan panel chaired by former Senator Alan K. Simpson, (R-WY), and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles (D). The balance of the panel is three more members appointed by the President, six members of the U.S. House of Representatives, and six members of the U.S. Senate. The commission first met on April 27, 2010, and had a December report deadline.[5] A health-care component of the overall U.S. federal and state fiscal-management challenge was addressed by a panel including Rivlin on the Diane Rehm Show in June.[6]

Along with former Comptroller General David Walker, Rivlin danced the Harlem Shake in a video produced by The Can Kicks Back, a nonpartisan group that aims to organize millennials to pressure lawmakers to address the United States' $16.4 trillion debt.[7] The video concludes with her making an importuned plea to the twenty somethings seated around the room: "There's no dancing around the fact that more needs to be done quickly to put our future debt on a downward track. But our leaders need to hear from you."

Personal life[edit]

In 1955, she married former Justice Department attorney Lewis Allen Rivlin of the Rivlin family; they divorced in 1977.[8]


  1. ^ Paulette Olson, Engendering Economics: Conversations With Women Economists in the United States, Routledge, 29 Mar 2002
  2. ^ "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter R". American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 7 April 2011. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ ""The Domenici/Rivlin Debt Reduction Task Force" by Kathryn Nix". The Foundry. The Heritage Foundation. 2010-01-26. Archived from the original on 2010-01-27. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  5. ^ White House: Getting to the Root Causes of Our Fiscal Challenges
  6. ^ "Medicare Reimbursment Rates and Deficit Spending" with Stuart Guterman of The Commonwealth Fund, Ron Pollack of Families USA, and Brian Riedl of The Heritage Foundation, The Diane Rehm Show, June 15, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
  7. ^ Chokshi, Niraj (15 February 2013). "Budget Wonks Dance the 'Harlem Shake' — the Latest Web Trend". National Journal. 
  8. ^ Chicago Tribune: "Ex-husband of Fed official ordered to pay $6.5 million" August 29, 2001

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Leon Panetta
Director of the Office of Management and Budget
Served under: Bill Clinton

Succeeded by
Franklin Raines
Government offices
Preceded by
Alan Blinder
Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve
June 25, 1996 – July 16, 1999
Succeeded by
Roger W. Ferguson Jr.