Lael Brainard, Director, National Economic Council

Lael Brainard

Director, National Economic Council

Lael Brainard was born in January 1962 in Hamburg, West Germany, to an American diplomat family. She earned an undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University and received both a master’s and doctoral degree in economics from Harvard University. She holds numerous academic awards. 

She worked in advertising and was an assistant associate professor of Applied Economics at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Brainard became a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute and was Vice President and Director of the Global Economy and Development Program for three years. 

Brainard served on the White House staff for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation during President Clinton’s administration. She was a member of the National Economic Council. She was nominated by President Barack Obama to be Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, was confirmed by the Senate, and assumed that post in April 2010, serving the Treasury until 2013. President Obama later nominated Brainard to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. She was confirmed by the Senate and began her term in 2014. 

President Joe Biden nominated Brainard to be the vice chair of the Federal Reserve. His initial nomination lapsed, and she was re-nominated and confirmed by the Senate. In early 2023, President Biden selected her to be Director of the National Economic Council. 

Brainard is married to Kurt Campbell and they have three children. 

In the News…

A proposed new rule by the Federal Trade Commission is intended to eliminate Junk fees, hidden or surprise fees, that companies tack onto the bills of customers. The White House says that banning those fees will save consumers billions of dollars. 

The Director of the National Economic Council, Leal Brainard, said, “Some have asked me why the president of the United States is concerned about a $50 fee here and a $35 fee there. Those sneaky fees might not matter to a lot of the wealthiest Americans, but they sure do matter for hardworking Americans sitting around the kitchen table trying to stay on top of their bills and have a little left over.“ 

The FTC’s ban on junk fees includes items such as event tickets, hotel bookings, travel, and vehicle rentals. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also issued new guidance to banks to stop charging excessive or “junk” fees for providing basic services to customers. 

Contact this Leader…

Did you pray for Director Brainard today? You can let her know at:

The Honorable Lael Brainard 
Director, National Economic Council 
The White House 
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW 
Washington, DC 20500 


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