Brian Deese

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Brian Deese
Brian Deese official portrait.jpg
Senior Advisor to the President
Assumed office
February 23, 2015
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Pete Rouse
Director of the Office of Management and Budget
In office
June 9, 2014 – July 28, 2014
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Sylvia Mathews Burwell
Succeeded by Shaun Donovan
Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget
In office
June 27, 2013 – February 13, 2015
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Heather Higginbottom
Succeeded by N.A.
Personal details
Born Brian Christopher Deese
(1978-02-17) February 17, 1978 (age 38)
Belmont, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Kara Arsenault (m. 2007)
Alma mater Middlebury College
Yale University

Brian Christopher Deese (born February 17, 1978) is a senior advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama. Earlier in the Obama Administration, Deese served as the deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget and was the acting director of the office in the summer of 2014. Deese also served as deputy director of the National Economic Council.

Education and early career[edit]

Deese graduated from Middlebury College in 2000 with a degree in Political Science[1] and from Yale Law School in 2009. For his first job in Washington, Deese worked as a research assistant at the Center for Global Development,[2] hired by founder Nancy Birdsall, according to The New York Times,[3] where he co-authored the book Delivering on Debt Relief. Later he worked as a senior policy analyst for economic policy at the Center for American Progress, under Gene Sperling.[4] Sperling and Deese would collaborate again in the Obama Administration as Director and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council between 2011 and 2013.


2008 presidential campaign[edit]

After the Center for American Progress, Deese joined Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign as her economic policy director. After Clinton was defeated in the primaries, Deese went to work as an economic advisor to the Obama-Biden campaign.[5]

Following the 2008 presidential election, he served as a member of the Economic Policy Working Group for the presidential transition.[6]

National Economic Council[edit]

At the start of the Obama Presidency, Deese was appointed as a Special Assistant to the President for economic policy, serving in the National Economic Council (NEC). According to The New York Times, he emerged as "one of the most influential voices" on the auto industry, and specifically the Chrysler and GM bailouts.[3]

In 2011, Deese was named Deputy Director of the NEC. In this role, he coordinated policy development for the White House on taxes, financial regulation, housing, clean energy, manufacturing, and the automotive industry. According to The New Republic, he was among Washington's "most powerful, least famous people".[7]

Office of Management and Budget[edit]

Deese was named Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget in the summer of 2013. He briefly served as the Acting Director in summer 2014, between the departure of Sylvia Mathews Burwell and the appointment of Shaun Donovan.

Senior Advisor to the President[edit]

Following the departure of John Podesta, Deese took over his brief on Climate and Energy. Unlike Podesta, who served as Counselor to the President, Deese was promoted to the position of Senior Advisor to the President.[8][9] In this position, Deese played an influential role in negotiating the Paris Climate Agreement in December 2015.[10] Along with Katie Beirne Fallon, Deese helped to negotiate the 2015 Bipartisan Budget Act, which replaced the budget sequestration and increased federal spending by $80 billion over two years.[11][12] In February 2016, the President tapped Deese to oversee the Supreme Court nomination process, which led to the President's nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court on March 16, 2016.[13]


  1. ^ "Middlebury College National Fellowship & Scholarship Competition Results". Archived from the original on 2006-08-12. 2002 Nominees: Claire Bowen '02 (American Literature), Brian Deese '00 (Political Science) ... 2002 Finalists: Claire Bowen, Brian Deese 
  2. ^ "Biography: Brian Deese". Retrieved 2011-07-07. 
  3. ^ a b "The 31-Year-Old in Charge of Dismantling G.M." by David E. Sanger, The New York Times, May 31, 2009 (p. B1 NY ed.). Retrieved 6/1/2009.
  4. ^ Deese, Brian (2004-09-13). "That Rosy Unemployment Rate". Retrieved 2011-07-07. 
  5. ^ Block, Sandra (2008-10-18). "McCain vs. Obama: The story on taxes". USA Today. Retrieved 2011-07-07. 
  6. ^ "Policy Working Groups | The Obama-Biden Transition Team". Retrieved 2011-07-07. 
  7. ^ The Editors (2011-11-03). "Washington's Most Powerful, Least Famous People". The New Republic. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  8. ^ Dovere, Edward-Isaac (21 January 2015). "Brian Deese to succeed John Podesta". Politico. Retrieved 2015-02-16. 
  9. ^ "Senior Advisor Brian Deese". The White House. Retrieved 2015-03-02. Brian Deese is currently serving as Assistant to the President & Senior Advisor. His duties include overseeing climate, conservation and energy policy and advising the President on a range of domestic and international policy issues. 
  10. ^ "Statement by the President on the Paris Climate Agreement". 2015-12-12. Retrieved 2016-07-23. 
  11. ^ Herszenhorn, David M. (2015-10-27). "A Budget Deal Promising Peace Is Rooted in Modest Goals". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-07-23. 
  12. ^ "Remarks by the President at Signing of the Budget Act of 2015". 2015-11-02. Retrieved 2016-07-23. 
  13. ^ "Obama taps senior adviser Brian Deese to run Supreme Court nomination process". Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-07-23. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Heather Higginbottom
Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget
Succeeded by
Beth Cobert
Preceded by
Sylvia Mathews Burwell
Director of the Office of Management and Budget

Succeeded by
Shaun Donovan
Preceded by
Pete Rouse
Senior Advisor to the President