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Biden picks senior staff at Treasury Department

Chris Hamblin, Editor, London, 22 January 2021


The US Treasury has announced the names of new members of staff who will serve it in senior capacities. The emphasis is on 'diverse backgrounds and lived experiences.' One of the top appointees was Chief of Staff at the Securities and Exchange Commission under Obama.

Every new US president brings in his own staff to govern the departments that are going to serve him. The new appointees are as follows.

Marti Adams, Executive Secretary       

Ms Adams is returning to the Treasury Department from the global advisory firm of Brunswick, where she counselled clients on 'reputational matters.' She previously worked for the mayor of New York City as a senior press officer. Before that, she worked on political campaigns. She first joined the Treasury Department in the Office of Public Affairs on the first day of the Obama-Biden administration in 2009. The nearest British analogy to such a career is that of Colette Bowe, who was a Treasury press officer before being put in charge of the Personal Investments Authority in the 1990s. The Biden administration is presumably placing her in this job because it anticipates the need for some reputational crisis management in the coming four years. Adams is a graduate of Spelman College.

Ryan Jacobs, Chief Speechwriter and Senior Advisor

Until now, Ryan Jacobs has been the head of speechwriting at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He previously served in the Obama-Biden Administration as the chief speechwriter to Transport Secretary Anthony Foxx. He is a graduate of Yale College and Columbia Business School.

Alfred Johnson, Deputy Chief of Staff

This man most recently served as the co-founder and CEO of Mobilize, the events management and volunteer recruitment platform. Between 2009 and 2012, he served in the Obama administration as Special Assistant to the White House Chief of Staff, Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Financial Markets at the Treasury Department, and Special Assistant on the Treasury Department's Financial Crisis Response Team. He began his career working for the Obama's presidential campaign in 2008. He is a graduate of Stanford University and the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Jacob Leibenluft, Counsellor to the Secretary    

Leibenluft was most recently a senior fellow at the Centre for American Progress and a research fellow at New York University School of Law's Institute for Corporate Governance and Finance. Between 2011 and 2016, he worked at the White House under Obama in economic policy jobs. Before that, he worked at the Treasury Department in 2009-10. Leibenluft also served as economic policy director in various election campaigns. He is a graduate of Yale University.

Calvin Mitchell, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs

Mitchell has spent more than 25 years in the field of strategic communications, providing counsel to senior-level government and business leaders. He began his government service as a career member of the US Foreign Service. He has also served in the US government in various communications and public affairs jobs in the State Department, the National Security Council and White House Press Office, the Treasury Department and the US Mission to the United Nations. He is a graduate of Yale University. He is a graduate of Yale University.

Didem Nisanci, Chief of Staff

This lady most recently served as the Global Head of Public Policy at Bloomberg and led the Secretariat of the Financial Stability Board's Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. Before Bloomberg, Nisanci served as the Chief of Staff at the SEC, advising the chairman about operational, policy-related, legislative, strategic and communication-related matters. She also served as the SEC deputy to the Financial Stability Oversight Council. Before the SEC, she worked in the Senate. Before that, she was the Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Treasury. Nisanci graduated from Smith College.

Julie Brinn Siegel, Deputy Chief of Staff

Siegel has just been on the "nominations team of the Biden-Harris transition." A lawyer by trade, she previously worked in the legal division of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Before that, she worked in the Office of the White House Chief of Staff, the Council of Economic Advisers, the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of the White House Counsel. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Law School.

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