President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden announced more staffers today.
Citing the economic crisis, Biden announced a new position -- chief economist and economic policy adviser -- and named Jared Bernstein of the liberal-leaning Economic Policy Institute to the post.
“Jared Bernstein is an acclaimed economist, and a proven, passionate advocate for raising the incomes of middle class families. His expertise and background in a wide range of domestic and international economic policies will be an invaluable asset to the Obama-Biden Administration,” Biden said in a statement. “It’s an honor to have him on my team and I look forward to his advice and counsel.”
Obama, meanwhile, announced that Christina M. Tchen will serve as White House Director of Public Liaison and Michael Strautmanis will serve as Chief of Staff to the Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Relations and Public Liaison.
"I am pleased to announce that these two distinguished individuals will be joining my administration, as we seek to meet the big challenges of our time. They not only bring impressive resumes but also a deep commitment to public service -- and I know the American people will be served well by them," Obama said in a statement.
Their biographies, provided by the Obama-Biden transition office, are below.
Jared Bernstein, Chief Economist and Economic Policy Advisor to the Vice President
Jared Bernstein is an expert in the areas of federal, state and international economic policies, specifically the middle-class squeeze, income inequality and mobility, trends in employment and earnings, low-wage labor markets, poverty and international comparisons. Bernstein has been an economist at the Economic Policy Institute since 1992 and is a renowned author of several books and academic treatises on the economy and the middle class. From 1995-1996, he served as Deputy Chief Economist for the Department of Labor under Labor Secretary Robert Reich. Bernstein is on the Congressional Budget Office’s advisory committee and has been a contributor to the financial news station CNBC. He has also taught at Howard University, Columbia University and New York University. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts from the Manhattan School of Music; a Masters Degree in Social Work from the Hunter School of Social Work; a Masters Degree in Philosophy and Ph.D. in Social Welfare from Columbia University.
Christina M. Tchen, Director of Public Liaison
Tchen has broad litigation experience at all levels of the state and federal courts. She has represented companies, officers and directors in shareholder class and derivative actions, and she has also handled a wide range of commercial, intellectual property and employment-related litigation. Tchen also has represented public agencies in state and federal class actions, including the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, the Illinois Department of Public Aid and the Chicago Housing Authority. She serves on the board of the Chicago Bar Foundation; she is also Chair of the Board of Field Foundation of Illinois and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Chicago Public Library and the Board of the Chinese American Service League. She has served on the Judicial Nominations Commission for the Northern District of Illinois and she has been appointed to several leadership positions with the American Bar Association Section of Litigation.
Tchen is the recipient of many awards, including the Leadership Award from the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois (1999); “Women of Achievement” award from the Anti-Defamation League (1996); and Chicago Lawyer “Person of the Year” (1994). She was selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2008 and The Best Lawyers in America 2009. She also was selected as one of the top three women business lawyers in Illinois by the Leading Lawyers Network 2007.
Michael Strautmanis, Chief of Staff to the Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Relations and Public Liaison
A native of Chicago, Strautmanis first came to know the Obamas when he worked as a paralegal at the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin for Mrs. Michelle Obama. After law school, Strautmanis practiced complex litigation and employment law in Chicago, before joining the Clinton Administration at the U.S. Agency for International Development. Strautmanis also served as Legislative Director and Counsel to then Rep. Rod Blagojevich, aiding Governor Blagojevich in his successful 2002 Illinois gubernatorial campaign, and serving as Counsel for Legislation for the American Association of Justice.
Strautmanis served as Chief Counsel and Deputy Chief of Staff to Obama in the United States Senate. He then served as Senior Counsel for Obama for America where he played a leading role in political outreach as a member of the Congressional Relations team. Strautmanis received a B.S. from the University of Illinois, and a J.D. from the University Of Illinois College Of Law. He and his wife Damona are the proud parents of three.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.