This year, the theme for Upper School assemblies is "What's Your Story?" The invited speakers have focused on sharing their story of if they always knew what they wanted to do or be, how they got to where they are today, and/or what impacted them the most along their journey.
During their assembly on December 2, students heard from Bharat Ramamurti, a member of the Congressional Oversight Commission for the CARES Act and the Managing Director of the Corporate Power program at the Roosevelt Institute. Previously, he served as the top economic adviser on Senator Elizabeth Warren's presidential campaign and as her senior counsel for banking and economic policy in her Senate office from 2013 to 2019. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School.
Bharat spoke to the students about his role on Senator Warren's campaign, and his work on her plan to cancel student loan debt had she been elected president. Bharat and his team went through many iterations of the plan before they landed on the idea that graduates would be able to cancel up to $50,000 of student debt if they were making less than $125,000 a year. Another one of Bharat's roles was preparing the Senator for the Democratic primary debates. His job was to stand in as Mayor Pete Buttigieg and help the Senator with her responses to his ideas and challenges. Bharat noted that this task was not incredibly difficult for him, since he knew Mayor Buttigieg personally (they were classmates at Harvard).
Currently, Bharat serves as one of five members of the bipartisan Congressional Oversight Commission for the CARES Act. This Commission is "specifically tasked with overseeing how the Department of the Treasury and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System are utilizing specific taxpayer funds to provide economic stability as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic." Bharat was appointed to this role by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York.
Bharat was able to answer some student questions during the half hour assembly, and gave some great insight into what being on a presidential campaign is like. He also talked a bit about his current work and the devastating economic impact of COVID-19 on the entire country, but especially communities of color. Bharat hopes that his work on the Commission will have a direct impact on these communities.
A huge thanks to Bharat for taking time to speak with our students!