President-elect Joe Biden announced Thursday that he has selected Brian Deese, a former Obama climate aide and head of sustainable investing at BlackRock, to serve as director of the National Economic Council.
Why it matters: The influential position does not require Senate confirmation, but Deese's time working for BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager and an investor in fossil fuels, has made him a target of criticism from progressives.
- During his time in the White House, Deese worked on U.S. auto industry bailout and helped negotiate the landmark Paris Climate Agreement.
- He's one of several experienced — albeit more controversial — economic hands that Biden has tapped as the incoming administration seeks to rescue the U.S. economy from the devastation wrought by the pandemic.
What they're saying: "Brian is among the most tested and accomplished public servants in the country — a trusted voice I can count on to help us end the ongoing economic crisis, build a better economy that deals everybody in, and take on the existential threat of climate change in a way that creates good-paying American jobs," Biden said in a statement.