Ben Harris is vice president and director of the Economic Studies program at Brookings. He most recently served as assistant secretary for economic policy and chief economist at the U.S. Treasury Department. Prior to joining Treasury, Harris was the executive director of the Kellogg Public-Private Initiative and a research associate professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Earlier in his career, Harris held several other senior positions in government, including chief economist and economic adviser to then-Vice President Joe Biden, senior economist with the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and senior economist with the Budget Committee in the U.S House of Representatives.
Harris also previously worked at Brookings in various roles including policy director of The Hamilton Project, deputy director of the Retirement Security Project, fellow and research economist in Economic Studies, and senior research associate with the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. Harris has taught as an adjunct professor at the policy schools at the University of Maryland and Georgetown University and was the senior economic adviser to Rokos Capital Management.
Harris’ primary areas of research focus are fiscal policy and retirement policy. He has published papers and policy briefs on a range of topics in public finance and is regularly cited in the media. Along with Brookings Senior Fellow Emeritus Martin Baily, Harris recently published the book The Retirement Challenge that proposes a new paradigm for retirement in the United States.
He holds a Ph.D. in economics from George Washington University, a master’s degree in economics from Cornell University, and a master’s degree in quantitative methods from Columbia University. He earned his BA in economics at Tufts University. In 2000, Harris was a Fulbright scholar in Namibia.