Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin Selected to Head the Council’s Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies and to Hold the Paul A. Volcker Chair in International Economics

November 14, 2005 9:57 am (EST)

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November 14, 2005—Council President Richard N. Haass has named Douglas Holtz-Eakin, current director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the new director of the Council’s Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies (GEC), and the Paul A. Volcker Chair in International Economics. Founded in 2000, the GEC works to promote a better understanding among policymakers, academic specialists, and the interested public of how economic and political forces interact to influence world affairs.

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“We are thrilled to have an individual of Douglas Holtz-Eakin’s stature and experience join the Council,” said Haass. “He is the ultimate scholar-practitioner, someone able to advance thinking about the connections between economic and strategic developments and to make sure that the fruits of such thinking reach policymakers, business leaders, and others with a need to understand how the world really works.”

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Holtz-Eakin is known for his longstanding and broad interest in the economics of public policy. He previously served as chief economist for the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, where he also served as senior staff economist in 1989 and 1990. He was trustee professor of economics at the Maxwell School, Syracuse University, where he has served as chairman of the Department of Economics and associate director of the Center for Policy Research. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Holtz-Eakin. “I look forward to the chance to continue my nonpartisan, high-caliber work in an organization that is not only national but has a global reach.”

In the past, Holtz-Eakin has held academic appointments at Columbia University and Princeton University. Since 1985, he has been a faculty research fellow and research associate for the National Bureau of Economic Research. From 1996 to 1998, he served as a member of the Economics Advisory Panel to the National Science Foundation.

The GEC is one of the premier venues for work on political economy. The center takes an entrepreneurial approach to its activities, working with the Council’s in-house expertise in economics and foreign policy, while also working with leading economic policymakers, scholars, and institutions beyond the Council to produce the most informed analysis and relevant policy prescription. The GEC is a major initiative of the Council and continues to develop world-class programming and publications.

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Highlights of the upcoming year include:
  • The Bernard and Irene Schwartz Series on the Future of American Competitiveness, which is producing reports analyzing the sustainability of the budget and current account deficits, the sources of American economic competitiveness, intellectual property rights regimes, immigration, and the WTO dispute settlement mechanism.
  • The C. Peter McColough Series on International Economics, a monthly speaker series that brings the world’s foremost economic policymakers and scholars to the Council to address a high-level audience from the business and financial community. Planned speakers for upcoming McColough events are Lawrence Summers, Timothy Geithner, and Pascal Lamy.
  • The McKinsey Executive Roundtable Series in International Economics to bring together U.S. and foreign policymakers, business leaders and independent commentators to discuss major economic policy issues. A forthcoming meeting will feature the past three chairmen of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In the coming year, the GEC will also produce several books, including Financial Statecraft: The Role of Financial Markets in American Foreign Policy, coauthored by the Council’s Director of International Economics Benn Steil and the Kauffman Foundation’s Vice President of Research and Policy Robert Litan; Council Senior Fellow Jagdish Bhagwati’s Borders Beyond Control; and former Finance Minister of El Salvador and former Council Fellow Manuel Hinds’ Playing Monopoly with the Devil: Dollarization and Domestic Currencies in Developing Countries.

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Founded in 1921, the Council on Foreign Relations is an independent national membership organization and a nonpartisan center for scholars dedicated to producing and disseminating ideas so that members, students, interested citizens, and government officials in the United States and other countries can better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other governments.

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