Wednesday, December 13

Eight Things You Should Know About Peter Orszag

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Origins. Peter Orszag’s father has held various mathematics-related professor-level posts at MIT, Princeton and, currently, Yale. Coming from this background, it is not hard to see how both Peter and his brother Jonathan have both ended up successful economists.

Intelligence. Orszag is publicly known for being a highly intelligent man. President Obama has, in the past, referred to him as his favorite propeller-head. This is no wonder, as he has collected an impressive set of qualifications. He boasts a BA from Princeton in 1991 as well as a London School of Economics MSc and a PhD in 1992 and 1997 respectively, all in Economics.

Influences. His mentors during his time in academia and later in his career include Robert Rubin, Alan Blinder and Joseph Stiglitz. These highly influential and powerful men give many clues as to the path that Orszag has taken to get where he is now.

Outspoken. Not afraid to speak his mind, Orszag says it the way he sees it. He caused displeasure in the White House when he suggested that Bush-era tax cuts should be extended to 2013 and then permanently stopped. This strength of character has also shown through in his championship of healthcare reform.

The OMB. While Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Orszag was one of president Obama’s top lieutenants in two of his biggest projects – the healthcare reform effort and the stimulus bill. Both of these momentous undertakings required Orszag’s expert economic oversight

The CBO. Director from early 2007 to late 2008, Orszag’s time at the Congressional Budget Office saw him draw attention to the future implications of rising healthcare expenditure. He took a highly active standpoint and positioned the CBO as an analytical resource instead of just an organization responsible for analyzing Congress’ proposals.

The Author and Editor. With titles ranging from American Economic Policy in the 1990s to Protecting the Homeland 2006/2007, Orszag has co-authored and co-edited many publications. These include not only books, but academic and policy papers as well.

The Human Touch. Many sources across the internet end their coverage of Peter Orszag with a tidbit about how, despite being incredibly committed to his work, he still manages to finds time to enjoy himself. Why break tradition? His hobbies include running marathons and relaxing to country music.

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