Obama Taps Swensen for Economic Advisory Board

David Swensen, Yale's chief investment officer (CIO), has been named by President Barack Obama to the newly established Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

Modeled on the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board created by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the new board will offer independent advice to Obama as he formulates and implements his plans for economic recovery. It will be established initially for a two-year term.

The board members will meet regularly and provide advice directly to the President and his economic team on the programs to jump-start economic growth and facilitate economic stability. The board will also focus on how the response to the short-run economic crisis is laying the groundwork for the reforms necessary for longer-run prosperity.

Members of the board, notes the White House announcement, "are distinguished citizens outside the government who are qualified on the basis of achievement, experience, independence and integrity."

Swensen, who holds a Yale Ph.D., has earned wide acclaim for his success in managing the University's endowment — realizing an average annual return of 16.3% over the last decade. Prior to joining Yale in 1985, Swensen spent six years on Wall Street as senior vice president at Lehman Brothers, specializing in the firm's swap activities, and as an associate in Corporate Finance for Salomon Brothers, where his work focused on developing new financial technologies. He authored "Pioneering Portfolio Management: An Unconventional Approach to Institutional Investment," which was published by The Free Press in 2000 and reissued this year, and "Unconventional Success: A Fundamental Ap­proach to Personal Investment," which was published by The Free Press in 2005.

The other members of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board include Paul Volcker (chair); Austan Goolsbee '91 (staff director and chief economist); William H. Donaldson '53, former chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (2003-2005); Roger W. Ferguson Jr., president and chief executive officer (CEO), TIAA-CREF; Robert Wolf, chair and CEO, UBS Group Americas; Mark T. Gallogly, founder and managing partner, Centerbridge Partners L.P.; Penny Pritzker, chair and founder, Pritzker Realty Group; Jeffrey R. Immelt, CEO, General Electric; John Doerr, partner, Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers; Jim Owens, chair and CEO, Caterpillar Inc.; Monica C. Lozano, publisher and CEO, La Opinion; Charles E. Phillips Jr., president, Oracle Corporation; Anna Burger, chair, Change to Win; Richard L. Trumka, secretary-treasurer, AFL-CIO; Laura D'Andrea Tyson, dean, Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley; and Martin Feldstein, the George F. Baker Professor of Economics, Harvard University.