Former Obama Official to Speak on New Economy, Political Polarization


Peter Orszag, former director of the Office of Management and Budget, speaks at Dartmouth on February 8. (photo courtesy Peter Orszag)

A look at why policymaking in the United States has become so polarized will be the topic when former Obama Administration official Peter Orszag speaks at Dartmouth on Wednesday, February 8. He served as director of the Office of Management and Budget from January 2009 until July 2010.

Orszag, who is now vice chairman of global banking at Citigroup, Inc., will also discuss economic trends and the nation’s fiscal trajectory. His talk, “The New U.S. Political Economy,” is part of the Winter Term Public Program at The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences.

The public lecture will be held at 4 p.m., in Room 28, in Silsby Hall. Earlier in the day, Orszag will take part in a class taught by Professor Ron Shaiko, and also meet with various faculty and staff.

Orszag is a contributing columnist at the online Bloomberg View, and an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Prior to joining Citigroup a year ago, he served as a distinguished visiting fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a contributing columnist at The New York Times.

As Obama’s budget director, a Cabinet-level role, Orszag oversaw the administration’s budget policy, coordinated the implementation of major policy initiatives throughout the federal government, and reviewed federal regulatory action, among other responsibilities. He had previously served as director of the Congressional Budget Office, supervising the agency’s work in providing objective, nonpartisan, and timely analyses of economic and budgetary issues. Under his leadership, the agency significantly expanded its focus on areas such as health care and climate change.

During the Clinton Administration, he was a special assistant to the president for economic policy. Orszag has also served as a staff economist and then senior advisor and senior economist at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.

Other upcoming  events in the Winter Term program include:

  • February 3, 4:30 p.m., Room 3 Rockefeller Center: Erica Chenoweth, government professor and director of the Program on Terrorism and Insurgency Research at Wesleyan University, speaks on “Why Civil Resistance Works: Nonviolence in the Past and Future.”
  • February 13, 4 p.m., Room 3, Rockefeller Center: Gershon Baskin, co-chairman of the Israel Palestine Center for Research and Information, speaks on “Is Israeli-Palestinian Peace Still Possible?” Baskin was the initiator of back channel negotiations between Israel and Hamas that that led to the release of abducted Israeli soldier Gilead Schalit. Baskin’s speech is co-sponsored by J Street U, a network of student activists across North America who seek peace, security and social justice in the Middle East.
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