By Jeff Fox
The Truman Medal for Economic Policy this year is going to a veteran of several Democratic administrations.
Alice M. Rivlin, the first woman to serve as director of the federal Office of Management and Budget and later vice chair of the Federal Reserve, will be given the award in October. Among the sponsors of the award is the Harry S. Truman Library Institute. She is the fifth recipient of the award, which is given every other year.
Rivlin, 82, is a senior fellow at the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institute and a visiting professor at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
The Truman Medal is given for contributions to the formation of economic policy, and it’s meant to recognize that the Council of Economic Advisors, which serves each president, came into being in 1946, when Truman was in office. Past winners are two former Federal Reserve chairmen, Alan Greenspan and Paul Volcker, as well as Allan H. Meltzer, an economist and author of “A History of the Federal Reserve,” and George Shultz, former secretary of state and former secretary of the treasury.
In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson appointed Rivlin assistant secretary for planning and evaluation in the old Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. In 1975, the Congressional Budget Office was established, and she was its first director, serving until 1983. She was deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Bill Clinton in 1993 and 1994 and then was its director until 1996. Clinton named her to the Federal Reserve in 1996, and she served there until 1999. She also was on President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.
The organizing committee for the Truman Medal has representatives of four groups: the Harry S. Truman Library Institute (a private, non-profit partner of the Truman Library), the Missouri Council on Economic Education, the Economic Club of Kansas City, and the Henry W. Block School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
The award will be given at a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 15 at the Westin Crown Center in Kansas City.