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Austan Dean Goolsbee, (born August 18, 1969), is a U.S. economist, currently serving under President Barack Obama as a member of the Council of Economic Advisers and as staff director and chief economist of a new federal panel, the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board chaired by Paul Volcker. Goolsbee is on leave from the University of Chicago where he is the Robert P. Gwinn Professor of Economics at the Booth School of Business.

Formal education

He graduated from Milton Academymarker and received both his B.A. summa cum laude and M.A. in economics from Yale Universitymarker in 1991 and went on to receive his Ph.D. in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technologymarker in 1995. He was an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow (2000-02) and Fulbright Scholar (2006-07). At Yale, he was a member of the Yale Political Union and improv comedy troupe Just Add Water.

Personal life

Goolsbee was born to Linda and Arthur Goolsbee in Waco, Texasmarker, and raised primarily in Whittier, Californiamarker. As a high school student he attended Milton Academymarker, a New Englandmarker preparatory school.

Goolsbee is active in the Latke-Hamantash Debate. The New York Times travel magazine piece on classic Hyde Parkmarker bar Jimmy's Woodlawn Tap mentions him and high school friend Mo Lee as frequent patrons.

Goolsbee married Robin Winters on November 1, 1997. She was a management consultant with McKinsey & Company at the time and earlier the director of business development at MTV International. They have a daughter, Addison, and two sons, Aden and Emitt.

Mr. Goolsbee is a member of Skull and Bonesmarker, a society at Yale University.

Academic and public service

Goolsbee has been a Research Fellow at the American Bar Foundation, Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusettsmarker, and a member of the Panel of Economic Advisors to the Congressional Budget Office. He is Senior Economist to the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI). He has been Barack Obama's economic advisor since Obama's successful U.S. Senate campaign in Illinoismarker. He advised Barack Obama in his 2004 Senate race and was the senior economic advisor to the 2008 Obama presidential campaign . He was interviewed in January 2008 about the Obama economic plan on tax cuts, deficits, and trade policies.

Goolsbee's academic research focuses on the Internet, the new economy, government policy, and taxes. He currently teaches a class on economics and policy in the telecom, media and technology industries. He is known in political circles as a centrist and in academic circles as part of a new wave called "new social economics". He focuses on human activity in natural settings to find economic explanations for how people behave.


Over the years he has been named one of the 100 Global Leaders for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum in Switzerlandmarker, one of the six 'Gurus of the Future' by the Financial Times, one of the 40 Under 40 by Crain's Chicago Business, and one of the 30 Under 30 by the Chicago Sun-Times. Goolsbee's Curriculum Vitae

Some of the known press profiles of him include those done by NPR, George Will, the Financial Times, Reuters TV, the Chicago Tribune, Crain's Chicago Business, Politico, the Abilene Reporter-News, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Publications and media appearances

Goolsbee is the former host of the television show History's Business on the History Channel, and he appeared as a surrogate for the Obama presidential campaign.

This is also true for his writing . In April 2006, Goolsbee began writing for the "Economic Scene" column in the New York Times. This column was later moved to Sundays and renamed the Economic View. Before that he wrote the "Dismal Science" column for, for which he won the 2006 Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism. He has published papers in various peer-reviewed journals.

On Tuesday, August 11, 2009, Goolsbee appeared as a guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Goolsbee was interviewed on the Economic Stimulus Act's effect in averting a deeper recession, as well as on the current health insurance reform debate and the White House's position on the issue.

Role in NAFTA campaign controversy

During Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, he and Hillary Clinton agreed (in a televised debate in Cleveland, Ohiomarker) that the United Statesmarker should renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).Goolsbee was Obama's senior economic advisor until the leak of a memo from a diplomat in the Canadianmarker consulate in Chicago to Canada's ambassador to Washingtonmarker. The memo reported that Goolsbee had previously visited the consulate to explain that Obama's language on NAFTA"...should be viewed as more about political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plans." Hillary Clinton's campaign ran ads in Ohiomarker making the charge the day before the primary. Goolsbee, the Obama campaign and the Canadian Consulate all denied that any such statement had occurred. Days later, Canadian News admitted the initial story had not been accurate and the Prime Minister of Canada made a public apology.

Later reports seemed to suggest that it had actually been the Clinton campaign which had given assurances to the Canadian government but this was not proven.

Following the incident, the Canadian government launched an official investigation as to the source of the leak but they were unable to determine who was responsible. Rumors held that the information had first come from the Prime Minister's Chief-of-Staff, Ian Brodie. Brodie resigned the day before the report was publicly released but claimed the timing was purely coincidental.


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