Top economic adviser Gary Cohn is leaving the White House after breaking with President Donald Trump on trade policy, the latest in a string of high-level departures from the West Wing. (March 6) AP


Who can step in for Gary Cohn?

As President Trump weighs who to appoint as Cohn's replacement to direct the National Economic Council, at least four names have surfaced as potential candidates with experience on the council, in the White House budget office, on Capitol Hill and on Wall Street.

Cohn announced Tuesday he would leave as the president's chief economic adviser, in a dispute over Trump's proposal for tariffs of 25% on foreign-made steel and 10% on aluminum.

“I’m not going to get into any naming or a list,” Sanders said. “But I can tell you the president has a number of people under consideration, and he’s going to take his time making that decision.”

His departure was followed by significant drop in stock prices. But Trump said he has many candidates eager for the job.

Candidates include:


Peter Navarro was an economic adviser to Trump’s campaign and joined the administration at the start. Trump announced the creation of the White House office of trade and manufacturing policy in December 2016 and named Navarro its first director.

Navarro was an opponent of the trade agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Trump withdrew from, and is a vocal critic of China and trade deficits with other countries. He has written 10 books, including Death by China and The Coming China Wars.

When Trump signed his buy-American, hire-American executive order in April 2017, Navarro said it “ushers in a new, more muscular” policy.

Navarro dabbled in electoral politics in San Diego, where he lost three campaigns: a nonpartisan race for City Council in 2001, as a Democrat for a House race in 1996 and as an independent candidate for mayor in 1992.

Navarro received his doctorate in economics from Harvard University.

More about the National Economic Council:

Dow drops 270 points after Trump's top economic adviser Gary Cohn resigns

Gary Cohn, Trump's top economic adviser, will leave White House in tariff tiff


Larry Kudlow is a senior contributor on economics for CNBC and a former official in the Reagan Administration. But he criticized Trump’s tariff proposal and supported the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump has criticized.

“I don’t have any comments on that stuff,” Kudlow told CNBC on Wednesday about his name mentioned for the post. “I just don’t want to walk through all those scenarios.”

Besides his television and radio programs, Kudlow is a contributing editor to National Review magazine and a nationally syndicated columnist. He is author of American Abundance: the New Economic and Moral Prosperity and co-author of JFK and the Reagan Revolution.

During Reagan’s first term, Kudlow was associate director for economics and planning at the Office of Management and Budget.

He has been chief economist and senior managing director of Bear Stearns & Co. He began his career at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where he worked in bank supervision.

Kudlow publicly acknowledged to The New York Times in 1994 that he had developed an addiction to drugs and alcohol at Bear Stearns, but that he had undergone 15 months of treatment at that point to kick the habits.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester and studied at Princeton University’s school of public and international affairs.


Shahira Knight was Cohn’s deputy at the National Economic Council.

She was appointed in February 2017, arriving from Fidelity Investments, where she was a lobbyist as vice president in the public affairs and policy group.

Before joining Fidelity in 2009, she was a lobbyist for C2 Group and then the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association from 2006 to 2009.

Knight worked for the House Ways and Means Committee from 1998 to 2006. She also worked at the Joint Economic Committee, writing policy papers about tax and budget issues.

She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree from George Mason University, both in economics.


Kevin Warsh was a member of the board of governors for the Federal Reserve from 2006 to 2011, where he represented the system to the Group of 20 largest economies and as an emissary to emerging economies in Asia.

Warsh earlier worked for the National Economic Council as a special assistant to the president.

Previously, he worked in the mergers and acquisitions department at Morgan Stanley & Co. in New York, becoming vice president and executive director.

Warsh is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution and a lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

He had earned his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and his law degree from Harvard Law School.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders declined to confirm candidates that Trump is considering, but said there were many.

“I’m not going to get into any naming or a list,” Sanders said. “But I can tell you the president has a number of people under consideration, and he’s going to take his time making that decision.”

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