Jennifer Harris

Former Senior Director, National Security Council and National Economic Council

San Francisco, CA



  • National Security Council
  • National Economic Council 
  • U.S. Department of State


  • Domestic and global economic policy
  • Industrial policy
  • Clean energy
  • Supply chain issues
  • China


  • Yale University, J.D.
  • University of Oxford, M.Phil
  • Wake Forest University, B.A.

Recent Coverage

MAY 18, 2024

New York Times | Biden’s China Tariffs Are the End of an Era for Cheap Chinese Goods

Jennifer Harris, a former Biden aide who now leads the Economy and Society Initiative at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, has pushed the administration to couple its industrial policy spending with even stricter rules on what the recipients of that money can do with it. She wants stronger mandates for domestic automakers to shift to electric vehicles, for example, and stricter curbs on stock buybacks to force companies receiving government grants, like semiconductor manufacturers, to invest more in research and development.

“This begins the much harder chapter that I think is much less attempted in U.S. history of industrial policy,” Ms. Harris said: “Making industry really prove it out.”

MAY 14, 2024

HuffPost | Both Biden And Trump Want Tariffs on Chinese Imports — But Biden’s Are More Focused

The tariffs’ inflationary impact would be a “rounding error,” said Jennifer Harris, who was a senior economics director for the National Economic Council and the National Security Council in the Biden White House until early 2023.

“Even versions of it that would have been more sprawling than where they landed, I have modeled, and [I] feel comfortable even those would have been rounding errors,” she said.

MAY 14, 2024

Financial Times | Why Washington’s new tariffs on Chinese clean tech goods matter

But former White House official Jennifer Harris said that reluctance might stem from Chinese manufacturers being aware of the threat of higher tariffs.

“I think they’ve been a bit holding their breath, knowing this was in the works,” said Harris. “Which is categorically not the case . . . in the European market.”

DEC 16, 2023

Financial Times | Federal Reserve lends credence to Joe Biden’s promise of a soft landing for the US economy

Jennifer Harris, a former Biden White House economic official, said it was vital for rates to come down for the huge manufacturing incentives enacted over the past years to be completed.

“The rest of the economy could well muddle through on ‘higher for longer’, but that is not true for the delicate set of investments that are incredibly capital intensive that we just passed historic legislation to stand up.” Harris would like to see the Fed cut rates at an even faster rate than projected by its officials this week.

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About Jennifer

Jennifer Harris recently served as Senior Director for International Economics & Labor on the National Security Council and National Economic Council staff. In this capacity, she coordinated the Administration’s policymaking process for a variety of issues at the intersection of economic policy and national security. 

Previously, Jennifer was the Director of the Economy and Society Initiative at the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation. Earlier in her career, Ms. Harris was a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and was a member of the policy planning staff at the U.S. Department of State, responsible for global markets, geo-economic issues, and energy security. 

Jennifer’s work has appeared in the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, the Washington Post, and Politico, among other outlets. She is the co-author of War By Other Means: Geoeconomics and Statecraft. She holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, a M.Phil from the University of Oxford, where she was a Truman and Rhodes scholar, and a bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University.