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SPIA administrator retires to serve on Rouse's Council of Economic Advisors

Elisabeth Donahue served as Associate Dean for Public Affairs and Communication at the University.

<h5>The Princeton School of Public Policy and International Affairs (SPIA).</h5>
<h6>Mark Dodici / The Daily Princetonian</h6>
The Princeton School of Public Policy and International Affairs (SPIA).
Mark Dodici / The Daily Princetonian

Elisabeth H. Donahue, former associate dean for public affairs and communications of the University’s School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA), has retired from her University position to join the Biden administration’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), Acting Dean of SPIA Mark Watson announced earlier this month.

Donahue intends to serve under former SPIA Dean and incoming CEA Chair Cecilia Rouse, who currently awaits her confirmation to the position by the U.S. Senate. 


According to the White House official website, CEA is an agency “charged with providing the President objective economic advice on the formulation of both domestic and international economic policy.”

Donahue has served as Associate Dean since 2010. Her office at SPIA oversees communications and public affairs programming at the school.

University Spokesperson Ben Chang told the ‘Prince’ that the University is excited to see Donahue in line for this new role. 

“We congratulate Elisabeth on joining the Biden-Harris administration to work alongside Ceci Rouse in the Council of Economic Advisors and are excited for her as she joins the many Princetonians serving in the interest of the public good,” Chang wrote. “We are grateful for her extensive contributions to the University over more than 20 years of service, during which she transformed SPIA’s communications and public affairs programming.”

Before joining the SPIA staff, Donahue served as executive director of “Future of the Children,” a journal published by Princeton's Center for Research on Child Wellbeing (CRCW) and the Brookings Institution. Rouse serves as a senior editor of the publication.

In a statement released on Monday, Feb. 8, the CRCW noted that Donahue was “instrumental in helping Sara McLanahan, the editor-in-chief, and Christina Paxon, Cecilia Rouse, Ron Haskins, and Isabel Sawhill, the senior editors, to build the journal into a tool for policy makers, practitioners and professors, enabling them to bring to light the issues that face our children daily.”


The ‘Prince’ reached out to Donahue for comment and was directed to the University announcement. 

The University has yet to announce either Donahue or Rouse’s successor.  

According to University Spokesperson Ben Chang, the position of dean was posted on the University’s HR page and has an application deadline of Feb. 25. 

“The search continues apace,” Chang continued.

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Rouse was nominated by President Biden in November 2020 and testified before the U.S Housing and Banking Committee last month. She described the goals of her office to provide “objective economic guidance” and strengthen the economy, in line with President Biden’s “Build Back Better” economic recovery program

Dean Cecilia Rouse at the virtual hearing. 
Karolen Eid / The Daily Princetonian 

Before entering the position, Rouse will need to appear before the full Senate for an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor. The date of the vote is yet to be set.