White House Chief Economic Advisor Gary Cohn said Monday that he has assembled “a best-in-class team of policy advisors to drive President Trump’s bold plan for job creation and economic growth,” naming such notables to the National Economic Council as Shahira Knight, who will serve as Special Assistant to the President for Tax and Retirement Policy.
Kinght’s previous role was as vice president in the Public Affairs and Policy Group at Fidelity Investments. She also served on the House Ways and Means Committee as a senior advisor to the chairman, leading the committee’s legislative and policy operations, and on the Joint Economic Committee, where she was responsible for writing policy papers on various tax and budget issues.
The 13-member team also includes notable economists such as Jeremy Katz, former Special Assistant for Policy to President George W. Bush, as deputy assistant to President Trump and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council (NEC).
The news of those set to serve on the NEC came one day ahead of Trump’s speech to a joint session of Congress on tax reform.
Grace Koh was tapped to serve as Special Assistant to the President for Technology, Telecom and Cyber-Security Policy. Koh previously worked as deputy chief counsel to the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology of the Energy and Commerce Committee.
She also worked as a policy counsel at Cox Enterprises’ Public Policy Office, working on technology policies affecting its Internet, cable and broadcast businesses.
Brian Blasé, a former senior research fellow for the Spending and Budget Initiative at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, will serve as Special Assistant to the President for Healthcare Policy.
During his time at Mercatus, Blase researched the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid, writing regular studies and commentaries. From 2011 to 2015, he worked as a senior healthcare staffer both House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Senate Republican Policy Committee.
The Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs and Deputy Director of the NEC will be Kenneth Juster. He is the president’s representative and lead United States negotiator (“Sherpa”) for the annual G-7, G-20 and APEC Summits.
Juster previously served as Under Secretary of Commerce, Counselor (Acting) of the Department of State, and Deputy and Senior Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of State. He has been a partner at the global investment firm Warburg Pincus, an executive vice president of Salesforce and a senior partner at the law firm Arnold & Porter.
Former CIA analyst George David Banks will serve as Special Assistant to the President for International Energy and Environment. He was previously an executive vice president of the American Council for Capital Formation, a pro-business trade association based in Washington.
Michael Catanzaro will serve as Special Assistant to the President for Domestic Energy and Environmental Policy. Catanzaro has served on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and on the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign as a top staffer on energy and environmental policy.