CBO founding director Alice Rivlin dies

CBO founding director Alice Rivlin dies

Alice Rivlin, an economist who served as the founding director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), died on Tuesday of cancer, the Brookings Institution said. She was 88.

Rivlin had a lengthy career, holding several prominent government positions.

In addition to serving as the first director of the CBO from 1975 to 1983, she served as director of the White House Office of Management and Budget and as vice chair of the Federal Reserve Board during former President Clinton's administration. During former President Obama's administration, she served on the Simpson-Bowles Commission focused on deficit reduction.


Rivlin had been affiliated with Brookings over the course of several decades. Right up until her death, she had been working on a book that urges congressional leaders to end partisan warfare, Brookings said.

"The Brookings Institution will be forever indebted to Alice Rivlin for her innumerable contributions to our work," the think tank said. "Our community will never forget her integrity, her energy, and her commitment to policy that speaks for and serves all Americans."

Rivlin had a bachelor's degree from Bryn Mawr College and earned her Ph.D. in economics from Harvard's Radcliffe College in 1958. She is survived by her husband, Sidney G. Winter, her three children and four grandchildren. 

Politicians and policy experts mourned Rivlin's passing.

“Alice Rivlin will be remembered as one of the great public servants of her generation, who understood the importance of America being able to afford its investments over the long term so our people today and tomorrow can access the opportunities that make the American Dream possible," House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerDemocrats debate timing and wisdom of reparations vote Pelosi on power in DC: 'You have to seize it' House panel approves bill to set up commission on reparations MORE (D-Md.) said in a statement.

CBO Director Keith Hall said that Rivlin "forged a commitment to providing objective, nonpartisan information to help the Congress make effective budget and economic policy." 

"The agency has lost a dear friend, and the nation has lost a true public servant," he added.

Bipartisan Policy Center President Jason Grumet said in a statement that Rivlin was "a fierce advocate for finding bipartisan solutions to our nation’s toughest challenges." 

"A policy discussion rarely ended without one more thoughtful question or recommendation from Alice who cared deeply about the impact of the policies we were debating," he said.