Jason Furman

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Jason Furman
Jason Furman official portrait.jpg
28th Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers
In office
August 2, 2013 – January 20, 2017
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byAlan Krueger
Succeeded byKevin Hassett
Personal details
Born (1970-08-18) August 18, 1970 (age 49)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Eve Gerber
RelationsJesse Furman (brother)
EducationHarvard University (BA, MA, PhD)
London School of Economics (MS)

Jason Furman (born August 18, 1970) is an American economist and professor at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government[1] and a Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.[2] On June 10, 2013, Furman was named by President Barack Obama as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA).[3] Previously, since January 28, 2009, Furman had served as the Deputy Director of the National Economic Council,[4] which followed his role as an advisor to candidate Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign. Furman's research and policy focus includes the subjects of taxes, health care, macroeconomic policy, competition and inequality, technology policy, and the U.S. Social Security program.

Professor Furman teaches at the Harvard Kennedy School.[5] Starting Fall 2019, he teaches Ec 10, the year-long introductory economics class at Harvard, together with David Laibson.[6]

Early life and education[edit]

Born and raised in New York City, Furman is the son of Jay Furman, a real-estate and shopping mall developer, and Gail (née Gorman) Furman, a child psychologist. Furman's brother, Jesse Furman is a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.[7]

Furman graduated from the Dalton School in 1988. In 1992, he graduated with a B.A. in social studies from Harvard, where his freshman year roommate was Matt Damon. He then received an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics. Furman returned to Harvard, where he received an M.A. in government in 1995 and a Ph.D. in economics in 2004.[8] His Ph.D. thesis advisor was N. Gregory Mankiw, who had once also served as chairman of the CEA, during the administration of George W. Bush.

Early career[edit]

In 1996, while he was a graduate student at Harvard Department of Economics, Furman was hired by economist Joseph Stiglitz to serve a one-year stint as a staff economist for the Council of Economic Advisers. He later worked with Stiglitz at the World Bank before joining the National Economic Council as a Special Assistant to the President during the Clinton Administration.[9] Furman was involved to varying degrees with the Presidential campaigns of Al Gore and Wesley Clark, along with his wife, Eve Gerber, who also contributed as a speechwriter for Clark.[10] In 2004, he took a position as Director of Economic Policy for the 2004 Kerry presidential campaign. At the outset of the election, Furman joined the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) where he was credited with helping defeat the privatization of Social Security proposed by the George W. Bush administration.[11][12]

He was a Visiting Scholar at New York University's Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and taught as a visiting lecturer at Columbia and Yale Universities.[13]

From 2006 to 2008, Furman was a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and Director of the Hamilton Project, an economic policy research group that develops policy proposals to achieve shared economic growth founded by former Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin. During his tenure there, Furman published papers on a range of topics, including tax treatment of healthcare, and edited two published volumes.[14][15]

Obama administration[edit]

In 2008, Furman joined Barack Obama's Presidential campaign as the Economic Policy Director.[16] Initially, Furman's appointment as a campaign adviser had been criticized by some labor activists for his qualified defense of Wal-Mart's business model.[17] During Obama's first term, Furman served as a Deputy Director at the White House National Economic Council to Lawrence Summers and to Gene B. Sperling. In this role, he was one of the architects of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, including identify stimulus-spending initiatives to benefit the poor as well as business tax incentives.[18] Furman is also credited with helping to create the administration's corporate tax-overhaul plan, influencing fiscal policy negotiations, and for helping to design and negotiate the Affordable Care Act.[19]

On June 10, 2013, Furman was named Chairman of the three-member Council of Economic Advisers by President Obama. Obama referred to Furman as "one of the most brilliant economic minds of his generation," and went on to say "There's no one I'd rather turn to for straightforward, unvarnished advice that helps me to do my job." His appointment to the role was met with bipartisan support.[20] During his tenure as chairman, Furman played a role in advancing economic debates and public policies around tax reform, competition,[21] artificial intelligence and innovation,[22] and investment issues.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Furman and his wife Eve (née Gerber)[24] live in Massachusetts with their three children.


  1. ^ "Jason Furman Named Professor of Practice at Harvard Kennedy School". Harvard Gazette. 2017-04-14. Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  2. ^ "Jason Furman Joins Peterson Institute for International Economics". 23 January 2017.
  3. ^ The White House. "Remarks by the President Nominating Jason Furman as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers." June 10, 2013.
  4. ^ "Obama Announces Deputy Directors for the National Economic Council". The White House. Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  5. ^ "Jason Furman Named Professor of Practice at Harvard Kennedy School". Harvard Gazette. 2017-04-14. Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  6. ^ Armenakas, Sophia S.; McCafferty, Molly C. (1 April 2019). "Laibson and Furman to Take Over Ec10, Increase Number of Lectures | News | The Harvard Crimson". The Harvard Crimson.
  7. ^ "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 112th Congress - 2nd Session". United States Senate. 17 February 2012.
  8. ^ "Economist Jason Furman (Harvard A.B, 1992, M.A., 1995, Ph.D. 2004) To Speak January 18, 2018". hcsanantonio.clubs.harvard.edu. Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  9. ^ "Jason Furman". 6 November 2008.
  10. ^ Boak, Josh. "10 Things You Don't Know About Obama's New Econ Guru Read". The Fiscal Times. The Fiscal Times. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  11. ^ "Economist Jason Furman is the Wonkiest Wonk in the White House". 12 February 2014.
  12. ^ "An Ex-New-York-Knife-Juggler To Hone Obama's Econ Policy". 17 June 2008.
  13. ^ Jason Furman NYU Wagner Archived June 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Who Has the Cure?". Brookings Institution.
  15. ^ "Path to Prosperity". Brookings Institution.
  16. ^ Shalit Barrett, Ruth (January 11, 2009). "New Brainiac: Jason Furman". NY Magazine. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  17. ^ Hamburger, Tom (June 11, 2008). "New Obama Aide Has His Share of Critics". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  18. ^ Tough, Paul (August 15, 2012). "What Does Obama Really Believe In?". The New York Times. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  19. ^ Paletta, Damian (May 28, 2013). "Obama to Name Furman to Run Economic Council". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  20. ^ Calmes, Jackie (June 10, 2013). "Obama Names Longtime Aide as His Chief Economic Adviser". The New York Times. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  21. ^ Udland, Myles (July 7, 2016). "Obama's Top Economic Adviser Doesn't Like the Idea of Giving People Money Not to Work". Business Insider. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  22. ^ Gergshgorn, Dave (January 27, 2017). "A Massive AI Partnership is Tapping Civil Rights and Economic Experts to Keep AI Safe". Quartz. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  23. ^ Lee, Timothy B. (February 7, 2017). "Obama's Top Economist Says Trump's Case For Gutting Investor Protections Makes No Sense". Vox. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  24. ^ "UJA-Federation of New York mourns the passing of Jay Furman, longtime supporter of UJA-Federation and a distinguished leader in our community as a member of UJA-Federation's Finance Committee & Board of Directors". The New York Times. January 6, 2015.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Alan Krueger
Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers
Succeeded by
Kevin Hassett