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Obama Advisory Board Includes Donaldson, Ferguson

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Two men with ties to the insurance industry have been named to President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

They are Roger Ferguson Jr., president of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund, New York, and William Donaldson, a former chairman of Aetna Inc., Hartford.

Ferguson has been a vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. He began working for TIAA-CREF in April 2008.

Immediately before joining TIAA-CREF, Ferguson was chairman of Swiss Re America Holding Corp., Armonk, N.Y., a unit of Swiss Reinsurance Company, Zurich.

Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board is headed by former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul Volcker. It will be modeled after the existing Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and will seek to bring in people from business, unions, academia and politics to help shape policy, administration officials say.

The executive director of the board will be Austan Goolsbee, a University of Chicago economist who advised Obama on economics during Obama’s presidential campaign.

Goolsbee has published academic research papers on topics such as, “Does the Internet Make Markets More Competitive? Evidence from the Life Insurance Industry” and “What Happens When You Tax the Rich? Evidence from Executive Compensation.”