Former Senior White House Economic Adviser Jared Bernstein to Serve as 2017 Graduation Speaker

April 24, 2017 @ 10:36 pm

Columbia University’s School of Social Work has announced that Dr. Jared Bernstein, a former senior White House economic adviser who earned his Ph.D. in social welfare from the school in1994, will deliver the keynote address at its 2017 graduation ceremony.

“How lucky we are to have Jared Bernstein as our graduation speaker,” said Interim Dean Irwin Garfinkel. “He is an alumnus of our school, was the Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, and is now a Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and a public intellectual.”

Since leaving Columbia University’s School of Social Work, Dr. Bernstein has held a variety of high-level positions in economic policy analysis and government. His areas of expertise include federal and state economic and fiscal policies, income inequality and mobility, trends in employment and earnings, international comparisons, and the analysis of financial and housing markets.

Currently a Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a research institute that aims to reduce poverty and inequality, Dr. Bernstein served, from 2009 to 2011, as the Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, Executive Director of the White House Task Force on the Middle Class, and a member of President Obama’s economic team.

Prior to joining the Obama administration, Dr. Bernstein was a senior economist and the director of the Living Standards Program at the Economic Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank that proposes policies to protect and improve the living standards of working families.

Between 1995 and 1996, Dr. Bernstein held the post of Deputy Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Labor.

The author of numerous books and publications, Dr. Bernstein frequently tries to communicate his ideas to broader audiences. He has published extensively in mainstream media, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The American Prospect; and he is an on-air commentator for the cable stations CNBC and MSNBC as well as a contributor to the The Washington Post’s PostEverything blog.

Dr. Bernstein’s latest book, The Reconnection Agenda: Reuniting Growth and Prosperity, is a reader-friendly account of why economic growth in the United States no longer delivers broadly shared prosperity. He calls on citizens to “recognize the difference between a policy set that will actually help and one that will exacerbate the forces that for decades now have been preventing growth from reaching most Americans.”

In addition, Dr. Bernstein has developed his own author platform. His blog, On the Economy, along with its corresponding podcast, aims to “debunk some false solutions offered in response to real economic problems and discuss policies that can reduce inequality and boost opportunities for low- and middle-income people.” He tweets at @econjared.

Dr. Bernstein will deliver his remarks at the historic Beacon Theatre, Broadway and 72nd Street, on Wednesday, May 17. Beginning at 2:00 p.m., the school’s graduation follows Columbia University’s commencement ceremony, which takes place the morning of that same day, in front of Low Library.