For Immediate Release: November 25, 2020

Contact: Louie Tan Vital, 425-330-5787,; Cabot Petoia, 828-899-9239, 

Racial Justice Group Demands Biden Transition Team Rescind Consideration of Brian Deese for Economic Positions

Detroit — In response to news that Brian Deese, managing director at BlackRock — the world’s largest asset manager — is a top contender for the head of the National Economic Council (NEC) under the Biden administration, Action Center on Race and the Economy (ACRE) released the following statement: 

“BlackRock executives like Brian Deese are responsible for financing environmental devastation while profiteering from Black and Indigenous communities,” said Vasudha Desikan, Political Director of ACRE. “There is a deep bench of highly qualified economic policymakers of color who are dedicated public servants without compromised histories in the private sector.  

“We are in the midst of a global pandemic that has devastated the economy and destroyed the lives of millions of people. We urgently need diverse leadership at powerful economic institutions like the NEC that is committed to economic policymaking that will prioritize people and the planet. 

“While Deese is quick to take credit for the U.S. being a part of the Paris Climate Accord, the truth is he was a supporter of fracking and fossil fuel production. Under his watch at BlackRock, the firm paid lip service to racial and environmental justice, while continuing to vote against shareholder proposals that sought to address these issues, especially proposals related to corporate political spending disclosure and oversight.

“BlackRock has a long history of financing climate devastation, like the Amazon fires, and racist institutions like police foundations. BlackRock should not be given any power in economic policymaking by the federal government nor should any investment firm’s executives be considered to lead major public economic institutions.

“We demand that President-elect Biden rescind consideration of Deese and other private sector executives for economic positions, and instead, pull together a short list from the many qualified policymakers of color who will do right by people and the planet.” 


The Action Center on Race and the Economy (ACRE) is a campaign hub for organizations working at the intersection of racial justice and corporate accountability.