President Obama announced an Economic Recovery Advisory Board Feb. 6 that includes renowned technology venture capitalist John Doerr and Oracle President Charles Phillips. The 16-member panel, led by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, will provide the president with economic advice.
"I created this board to enlist voices to come from beyond the Washington echo chamber, to ensure that no stone is unturned as we work to put people back to work and get our economy moving," Obama said during a White House ceremony creating the board. "We will meet regularly so that I can hear different ideas and sharpen my own, and seek counsel that is candid and informed by the wider world."
One of the Silicon Valley's most influential figures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers' Doerr has directed investment in some of the technology industry's most successful companies, including Google, Amazon.com, Sun Microsystems and Symantec. He currently sits on the boards of Google, Amazon.com, Intuit, Homestore and Sun.
Phillips joined Oracle in 2003 and is responsible for global field operations including consulting, marketing, sales, alliances and channels, and customer programs. While serving as Oracle's executive vice president of Strategy, Partnerships and Business Development, Phillips played a key role in Oracle's acquisitions of PeopleSoft, Siebel Systems, Retek, Hyperion and BEA Systems.
Other members of the board include William H. Donaldson, the former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission; Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., president and CEO of TIAA-CREF; Robert Wolf, chairman and CEO of UBS Group Americas; Yale University CIO David F. Swensen; Mark T. Gallogly, founder and managing partner of Centerbridge Partners; Pritzker Realty Group Chairman Penny Pritzker; GE CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt; and Jim Owens, chairman and CEO of Caterpillar.
Obama also named to the new panel Monica C. Lozano, publisher and CEO of La Opinion; Change to Win Chairwoman Anna Burger; Richard L. Trumka, the AFL-CIO's secretary-treasurer; Laura D'Andrea Tyson, dean of the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley; and Martin Feldstein, George F. Baker Professor of Economics at Harvard University.
"I'm not interested in groupthink, which is why the board reflects a broad cross-section of experience and expertise and ideology," Obama said. "We've recruited Republicans and Democrats, people who come out of the government as well as the private sector. Not everyone is going to agree with each other, and not all of them are going to agree with me-and that's precisely the point, because we want to ensure that our policies have the benefit of independent thought and vigorous debate."