U.S. Treasury names climate economist, tax partner to senior posts

FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Treasury building is seen in Washington
FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Treasury building is seen in Washington, September 29, 2008. REUTERS/Jim Bourg/File Photo

March 2, 2021

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury named new staff to senior tax and economic posts on Tuesday, including University of California-Berkeley professor Catherine Wolfram as deputy assistant secretary for climate and energy economics in the Office of Economic Policy.

Wolfram’s appointment comes as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen increases the department’s focus on fighting climate change, a shift that includes the addition of another high-level climate “czar” position.

Wolfram, an expert in climate and energy economics, has done research on energy efficiency investments in the United States and the electricity sectors in Kenya, Ghana and India.

The Treasury said it also named Jose Murillo as deputy assistant secretary for international tax affairs as the department seeks to re-engage with an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development effort to reach a new global agreement on taxing multinational companies and digital services.

Murillo served in the Treasury’s Office of Tax Policy during the Bush-Cheney and Obama-Biden administrations and for the past 11 years has been a partner at Ernst & Young.

Neil Mehrotra, a Federal Reserve Bank of New York economist, was named Treasury deputy assistant secretary for macroeconomics in the Office of Economic Policy.

The Treasury said William Fields, a senior associate at Alphabet Inc’s Sidewalk Labs urban innovation firm, will return to the department as a senior adviser to Yellen. Fields had served as a special assistant in the Treasury during the Obama administration, where he supported issues such as housing reform and easing Puerto Rico’s debt crisis.

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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