Farrell ’87 Subject of Fortune Interview

Diana Farrell ’87

Diana Farrell ’87, deputy assistant to the President on economic policy and deputy director of the National Economic Council, was the subject of a Fortune magazine interview. Writer Tory Newmyer was exploring the impending departure of Farrell’s boss, Larry Summers, director of the National Economic Council, at midterm elections.

When asked what Farrell thinks Summers’ legacy will be, she told Newmyer: “I think his legacy and the President’s legacy are going to be extraordinary. Consider the first 18 months of this administration, when Larry was really a key architect of a lot of the economic policy, it was an unprecedented time in the number of things we were faced with. It’s easy for people to concentrate, as of course they will, on just how hard the economy continues to be. But for many of us who joined the administration at that time, as Larry and I did, who saw the precipice we were on, it’s hard to undermine the legacy of bringing something from the brink of a Great Depression, which is where we were, to a bad recession, which is where we are.”

Responding to Newmyer’s question on whether the White House team had been missing a senior voice from the corporate sector, Farrell said, “This is my first time serving in government — I came from the private sector — and I just think it is a fantastic thing for people to do, for people in the private sector to serve in government, to serve their country, and to really understand what a very large fraction of the economy and society is all about and how this works. And even though I would concede the point that you’re hard-pressed to find in the administration many examples of CEOs who have high-level posts – it’s just a fact – I would say that we’ve gone to great lengths to ensure that the business perspective is incorporated.

“We may not always satisfy the business perspective, but it’s certainly there. Having said that, I think it’d be fantastic having more private sector people, particularly people who have run large companies and understand the management of large-scale organizations.”

Read the complete interview with Farrell at: