Weatherhead School professor begins White House role as senior economist

A Case Western Reserve University professor this month joined the federal office charged with advising the nation’s president on economic policy.

Susan Helper will serve for a year as a senior economist on the staff of the Council of Economic Advisers. A member of the Weatherhead School of Management faculty since 1990, Helper is recognized internationally for her scholarship on manufacturing policy.

Helper, the Frank Tracy Carlton Professor of Economics, will focus on manufacturing policy during her time at the White House agency, contributing policy memos and other insights to the administration’s efforts.

“I’m really looking forward to this opportunity to learn more about how policy is made,” Helper said. “I’m also looking forward to what impact my research might have on programs that affect manufacturing.”

She recently co-authored Brookings Institution papers about the importance of manufacturing to the nation’s economy. Helper and her co-authors noted that manufacturing contributes to high-wage jobs, commercial innovation, trade deficit reduction and environmental sustainability. The research drew wide media attention, including The New York Times and Rolling Stone.

The number of CEA senior economists at any given time varies, although at full strength there are about 10. The Employment Act of 1946 established the CEA, which includes a chairman and two members. Senior economists, staff economists and research assistants, as well as a statistical office, support the council.

Helper has recently had a role in Washington as a committee member with the National Academy of Sciences Panel on Manufacturing.

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