Barr, Stevenson, Harris and McQuade to assist Biden-Harris transition

November 12, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden has tapped three University of Michigan faculty members to help review the operations of federal agencies as part of his transition team.

Michael Barr, dean of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, and Betsey Stevenson, a Ford School professor of public policy and economics, will serve on the U.S. Department of Treasury review team. Adrienne Harris, professor of practice and Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence, will focus on the Federal Reserve, Banking and Securities Regulators group includes the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Barbara McQuade, a professor from practice in the Law School, will serve on the Department of Justice review team.

All four are volunteering in a personal capacity on their own time, and their work is separate from their duties at U-M. The Biden-Harris transition team announced the appointments Nov. 10.

Agency review teams are responsible for understanding the operations of each agency, ensuring a smooth transfer of power, and helping prepare Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to “hit the ground running on Day One,” according to the transition team’s website. The teams consist of people with expertise and deep backgrounds in policy areas across the federal government. 

Barr, Stevenson, Harris and McQuade all served the administration of former President Barack Obama.

Along with being the Joan and Sanford Weill Dean of Public Policy, Barr is the Frank Murphy Collegiate Professor of Public Policy, the Roy F. and Jean Humphrey Proffitt Professor of Law, and a professor of public policy and of law. He is the founder and faculty director of U-M’s Center on Finance, Law & Policy.

He served in the Obama administration as the Treasury Department’s assistant secretary for financial institutions. He was a key architect of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. Prior to his Senate confirmation, Barr served on the National Economic Council in the White House. He also previously served in former President Bill Clinton’s administration.

In addition to her work as a professor, Stevenson is a faculty research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a visiting associate professor of economics at the University of Sydney, a research fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research and a fellow of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research in Munich. She serves on the executive committee of the American Economic Association.  

Stevenson also served as a member of the Council of Economic Advisers from 2013-15, advising Obama on social policy, labor market and trade issues. As the chief economist of the U.S. Department of Labor from 2010-11, she advised the secretary of labor on labor policy and was the secretary’s deputy to the White House economic team.

Harris is also a Gates Foundation Senior Research Fellow with the Center for Finance, Law and Policy. She was a Special Assistant to President Obama for Economic Policy at the National Economic Council, where her portfolio included financial reform, financial technology, cyber security, consumer protection, and housing finance reform. She spearheaded the development of the Administration’s fintech strategy, chairing both the Interagency Fintech Working Group and the Administration’s Distributed Ledger Technology Task Force.

McQuade was appointed by Obama as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, a role she had from 2010-17. She was the first woman to serve in that position. McQuade also served as vice chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee and co-chaired its Terrorism and National Security Subcommittee. Prior to becoming U.S. attorney, McQuade was an assistant U.S. attorney in Detroit for 12 years, serving as deputy chief of the National Security Unit.

This article was written by Michigan News and first appeared in the University Record.