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Federal budget expert Alice Rivlin awarded 2016 SIEPR Prize

Jan 12 2016

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Alice Rivlin, a federal budget expert who played key roles in two presidential administrations and at the Congressional Budget Office and the Federal Reserve Board, is this year's winner of the SIEPR Prize.

Rivlin is being recognized for her contributions to economic policy in being chosen for the $100,000 award, which is given every other year by the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR). She will receive the prize during an April 14 event hosted on Stanford's campus.

Rivlin, who is currently a senior fellow in the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution, served as vice chair of the Federal Reserve Board between 1996 and 1999.  She was deputy director and then the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget during the first Clinton administration.

In 2010, Rivlin was named by President Obama to the Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform and also co-chaired – with former Sen. Pete Domenici – the Bipartisan Policy Center's Task Force on Debt Reduction.

She was the founding director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office from 1975 to 1983 and chaired the District of Columbia Financial Management Assistance Authority from 1998 to 2001. She also served at the Department of Health, Education and Welfare as the assistant secretary for planning and evaluation.

"Alice Rivlin has worked tirelessly to improve economic policy in many high-level positions throughout her career," said Mark Duggan, the Trione Director of SIEPR and the Wayne and Jodi Cooperman Professor of Economics. "Her dedication to public service for more than 40 years is an excellent example of how economists can use their expertise to improve people’s lives."

The SIEPR Prize was inspired and first funded by George Shultz, who served as President Richard Nixon's budget director and secretary of Labor and Treasury and later led the State Department in the Reagan administration.

"SIEPR has made outstanding contributions to economic policy research over many years," Rivlin said. "I am honored and delighted to receive the SIEPR prize."

At Brookings, she was the director of the Economic Studies Program and held the Leonard D. Schaeffer Chair in Health Policy.  She has authored or co-authored several books, including Systematic Thinking for Social Action (recently reissued by Brookings), Reviving the American Dream, Restoring Fiscal Sanity: How to Balance the Budget (with Isabel Sawhill), and The Economic Payoff from the Internet Revolution (with Robert Litan).

Rivlin received a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" in 1983 and the Moynihan Prize in 2008.  She was named one of the greatest public servants of the last 25 years by the Council for Excellence in Government in 2008. In 2013 she received Robert M. Ball Award for Outstanding Achievements in Social Insurance from the National Academy of Social Insurance.

Now a visiting professor at Georgetown's McCourt School of Public Policy, she has also taught at Harvard, George Mason and The New School. She has served on the boards of directors of several corporations, and as a president of the American Economic Association.

Rivlin served on D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser's transition committee and is vice chair of the Board of the D.C. Association of Public Chartered Schools. She serves on the Board of the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation.

She received a B.A. in economics from Bryn Mawr College and a Ph.D. from Radcliffe College in economics in 1958.

Recipients of the SIEPR Prize are selected by Shultz, Duggan and three other leading economists: Jim Poterba, president of the National Bureau of Economic Research; John Shoven, former director of SIEPR; and Kenneth Arrow, a winner of the Nobel Prize in economics and an emeritus senior fellow at SIEPR.

Since the program's founding in 2010, the SIEPR Prize has been awarded to Paul Volcker, former Federal Reserve chairman; Martin Feldstein, a Harvard professor and former chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisors; and Stanley Fischer, former governor of the Bank of Israel, and vice chairman of the Federal Reserve.