Mr. Deese, 42, is not an academic economist but a veteran of economic policymaking, having served as the acting head of the Office of Management and Budget and the deputy director of the Economic Council under Mr. Obama. He was also a special adviser on climate change to Mr. Obama, a role that could signal Mr. Biden’s commitment to fashioning an infrastructure bill for his legislative agenda that heavily features spending on clean energy initiatives.
Mr. Biden on Sunday announced an all-female White House communications staff, with Jennifer Psaki, a veteran of the Obama administration, in the most visible role as White House press secretary.
Kate Bedingfield, 39, who served as a deputy campaign manager for Mr. Biden, will serve as the White House communications director. Karine Jean Pierre, who previously served as the chief public affairs officer for MoveOn.org, will be the principal deputy press secretary. Pili Tobar, a former immigrant advocate with the group America’s Voice, will serve as the deputy White House communications director.
Symone Sanders, a senior adviser to Mr. Biden on the campaign, will serve as the senior adviser and chief spokeswoman for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Ashley Etienne, a former senior adviser to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, will serve as the communications director for Ms. Harris.
The appointments indicate Mr. Biden’s plan to include racial, gender and ideological diversity in top roles, fulfilling a campaign pledge to ensure that a broad swath of America is represented in policymaking decisions.
But they could fall short of hopes within the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, which has been frustrated that their views are not being sufficiently represented in early personnel decisions. In particular, the decision to select Ms. Tanden, a divisive and partisan figure in the Democratic Party, could culminate in an intraparty fight, as well as a confirmation battle.
Republicans, who are expected to retain control of the Senate, are unlikely to easily pass Ms. Tanden, who advised Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and has been one of the most outspoken critics of President Trump.