Reflections from Paul Volcker in Remembrance of Alice Rivlin (March 4, 1931 – May 14, 2019)

Friday, May 17, 2019
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The Volcker Alliance is deeply saddened by the loss of Alice Rivlin. Dr. Rivlin was a founding board member of the Volcker Alliance and was a pioneer in many ways. She served as vice chairwoman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and was the first female director of the Office of Management and Budget during the Clinton administration. A skilled economist and a master of budgetary and social policy, Dr. Rivlin was also the founding director of the Congressional Budget Office. In 2010, President Obama appointed Dr. Rivlin to his eighteen-member bipartisan National Commission of Fiscal Responsibility and Reform panel. Dr. Rivlin also served on the Systemic Risk Council with Volcker Alliance founder Paul Volcker, as well as Alliance board members Sheila Bair, Bill Bradley, and William Donaldson.

Mr. Volcker wrote this heartfelt tribute upon her passing:

Alice Rivlin—I know of no man or woman who has more exemplified dedication to the public interest over a long career. A trained economist, Alice brought a unique combination of personal competence, energy, and political independence to leadership in the nation’s fiscal affairs. Notably, she chaired the newly organized Congressional Budget Office and quickly established its independence and competence. She held cabinet-level positions in the Clinton Administration, and at one point was called to the challenge of reforming the financial affairs in the District of Columbia. The fact that she was willing to serve for several years as vice governor of the Federal Reserve Board only reinforced her contributions to the management of economic policy.

More than that, as our professional paths crossed, we became good friends. Alice was always there with comforting advice—so it was to her that I turned in building the Volcker Alliance with the mission of restoring confidence and building support for effective and efficient administration of our governmental institutions.

Alice may no longer be with us physically, but her presence remains strongly with us in the never-ending challenge of building a strong and democratic government.

Our deepest sympathy to Dr. Rivlin’s loved ones. She will truly be missed.

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