Jul 11, 2012
After serving a one-year term as Senior Economist to the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA), Lee Branstetter has returned to the full-time faculty at Carnegie Mellon University’s H. John Heinz III College. The Council, an agency within the Executive Office of the President of the United States of America, is charged with offering objective economic advice on the formulation of both domestic and international economic policy.
Branstetter, an Associate Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Heinz College, began serving on the council in August of 2011 and his primary responsibility during the term concerned domains of international trade such as investment, trade policy, interactions with major trade partners and free trade agreements. He also worked on domestic policy to promote U.S. manufacturing.
“It’s been a real privilege to serve the country as a member of the Council of Economic Advisors,” says Branstetter. “I acquired a great understanding of how trade policy is practiced during my time at the CEA and will be bringing that knowledge back to the classroom this fall.”
Upon his return, Branstetter will continue to teach courses such as Empirical Industrial Organization, The Global Economy and The Rise of the Asian Economy. Course content and methods will be updated to reflect the insight gained during his time at the CEA. He hopes to introduce real-time video conferencing to connect students with government colleagues.
Branstetter has worked closely with top advisors on issues such as intellectual property rights in China and global warming, and feels bringing these perspectives into the classroom will provide Heinz College students with an immediate benefit.
“The particulars of the video conferencing still need to be worked out, but my colleagues are quite warm to the idea,” he says. “I’m excited about the possibility and think it will be a unique addition to existing course content.”
Branstetter is the first Carnegie Mellon University faculty member to serve on the Council since Lowell Taylor served as Senior Economist on President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors in the mid–1990s.
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