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Diana Farrell

Diana Farrell
Deputy Director, National Economic Council
In office
January 28, 2009 – January 2011
Serving with Jason Furman
President Barack Obama
Personal details
Born March 16, 1965
Bogota, Colombia
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Scott D. Pearson
Children Two children, Sonia Pearson, 15 and Jasper Pearson 13
Alma mater Wesleyan University
Harvard Business School
Occupation Economics

Diana Farrell is a Director of McKinsey & Company and the global leader and co-founder of the McKinsey Center for Government.

From 2009 to 2011, Farrell was Deputy Director of the United States National Economic Council (NEC) and Deputy Assistant on Economic Policy to President Barack Obama. She was also a member of the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry.[1][2] While at the White House, Farrell directed interagency processes for the administration’s financial regulatory reform, housing and housing-finance policy, and innovation and competitiveness agendas.

On November 22, 2010, Farrell announced that she would be leaving the administration by the end of the year. Lawrence Summers, then the Director of the NEC, who had previously announced that he would return at the end of the year to Harvard University, noted that Farrell had "played a central role" in the efforts of the administration to encourage economic growth, restructure the auto industry, and respond to the housing crisis. Summers further stated: "Her natural talent as a policy maker and her good judgment made her invaluable in setting a course for economic recovery."[3]

Prior to serving in government, Farrell was the Director of the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), McKinsey & Company's economics research arm. While at McKinsey she was also a leader of the Global Financial Institutions and Global Strategy practices. Prior to joining McKinsey, she worked for Goldman Sachs in New York.

Farrell has a B.A. from Wesleyan University in Economics (College of Social Studies) and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. She is a member of Council on Foreign Relations, the Bretton Woods Committee, the Pacific Council on International Policy, and the Wesleyan University board of trustees. She is married with two children.[4]


  • Research 1
  • Selected Publications 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Farrell has written extensively on government effectiveness, growth, productivity, regulation and offshoring. Her work has appeared in academic journals, books, and on the op–ed pages of leading international publications, and she is a frequent speaker at major U.S. and global conferences. Farrell is the author and editor of over 20 reports and articles and 4 books. She is the editor an anthology series on driving growth, the productivity imperative and offshoring based on MGI research, published by Harvard Business Press in 2006, and the co-author with Lowell Byran or Market Unbound, published by John Wiley & Sons in 1996.

In 2003, Farrell was the author of a paper in which she argued that sending American jobs overseas might be "as beneficial to the U.S. as to the destination country, probably more so."[5]

In a video for the McKinsey Global Institute, where she formerly served as a director, Farrell describes four "newly powerful" brokers. One of these is "Asian economies which are...generating significant surpluses."[6]

Farrell is a supporter of regulation of large banks. In an interview with National Public Radio, she stated: "We have created them, and we're sort of past that point, and I think that in some sense, the genie's out of the bottle and what we need to do is to manage them and to oversee them, as opposed to hark back to a time that we're unlikely to ever come back to or want to come back to."[7]

Selected Publications

"Government by Design: Four Principles for a Better Public Sector", McKinsey Center for Government, December 2013

"Education to Employment: Designing a System That Works", McKinsey Center for Government, December 2012

"Government Designed for New Times", McKinsey Center for Government, October 2012

“New but not yet normal: Corporate and investment banking in transition”, McKinsey on Corporate & Investment Banking, September 2010

“Changing the fortunes of America's workforce: A human capital challenge”, McKinsey Global Institute, June 2009

“Promoting energy efficiency in the developing world”, McKinsey Quarterly, February 2009

“Why Americans pay more for health care”, McKinsey Quarterly, December 2008

“Leading through uncertainty”, McKinsey Quarterly, December 2008

“The challenge of reforming Japan’s health system”, McKinsey Global Institute, November 2008

“Why baby boomers will need to work longer”, McKinsey Quarterly, November 2008

“New thinking for a new financial order”, Harvard Business Review, September 2008

“Capturing the European energy productivity opportunity”, McKinsey Global Institute, September 2008

“Boosting Europe’s energy productivity”, Businessweek, September 2008

“China’s urbanization means rich rewards for business”, Businessweek, September 2008

“How the world should invest in energy efficiency”, McKinsey Quarterly, July 2008

“The rise of the euro”, Businessweek, March 2008

“Investing the Gulf’s oil profits windfall”, McKinsey Quarterly, May 2008

“The challenge of funding Japan’s future health care needs”, McKinsey Global Institute, March 2008

“Gulf states must use oil wealth wisely”, Businessweek, February 2008

“Long-term trends in global capital markets”, McKinsey Quarterly, February 2008

“The new role of oil wealth in the world economy”, McKinsey Quarterly, January 2008

Offshoring: Understanding the Emerging Global Labor Market, Harvard Business Press Books, 2006

Driving Growth: Breaking Down Barriers to Global Prosperity, Harvard Business Press Books, 2006

Productivity Imperative: Wealth and Poverty in the Global Economy, Harvard Business Press Books, 2006

“Smarter offshoring”, Harvard Business Review, June 2006

Market Unbound, Wiley & Sons, 1996


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Johnston, Nicholas (November 23, 2010). "Farrell, Barr Planning to Leave Obama Administration's Economic Team". Bloomberg. 
  4. ^ The White House, Office of the Press Secretary (2009-01-28). "President Obama Announces Deputy Directors for the National Economic Council". Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  5. ^ "Perspectives on Offshoring". 
  6. ^ The New Power Brokers: Gaining Clout in Turbulent Markets," video, produced by the McKinsey Global Institute, San Francisco, California.""". 
  7. ^ Rewriting The Rules Of The Financial System," Alex Blumberg interviewer, National Public Radio, Washington, D.C., December 13, 2009.""". 

External links

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