Jason Furman (born 1970) is an economist and influential policy intellectual. On January 28, 2009, Furman was named Deputy Director of the National Economic Council in the administration of President Barack Obama, whom he'd been advising since the latter stages of the 2008 presidential campaign. Although he generally works with Democrats, he is reported by the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call to be widely respected by Republicans, as well. Matthew Yglesias has referred to him as Lawrence Summers' "smart, hardworking, well-regarded deputy," and suggested that he replace Summers as head of the National Economic Council.
Furman's research and policy focus includes the subjects of taxes, health care, and the U.S. Social Security program. Furman's qualified defense of Wal-Mart's business model provoked criticism from some labor organizations when he joined Obama's 2008 campaign. But notable liberals defended Furman, praising his staunch defense of Social Security, criticism of inequality, and advocacy of universal health insurance.
In 1996, while he was a graduate student at Harvard, Furman was hired by economist Joseph Stiglitz to serve a one-year stint as Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy in the Clinton Administration and on staff of the Council of Economic Advisers. He later worked with Stiglitz at the World Bank. Furman was involved to varying degrees with the Presidential campaigns of Al Gore and General Wesley Clark. In 2004, he took a position as Director of Economic Policy for the John Kerry Presidential campaign in 2004.