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President names local grad as advisor on economic recovery

David Swensen

The U.S. Office of Public Affairs announced last week that President Barack Obama asked River Falls-raised David Swensen to be part of the newly established Economic Recovery Advisory Board charged with spurring economic growth and facilitating economic stability. The new board will also focus on laying the groundwork for reform necessary to encourage long-term prosperity.

Swensen graduated from River Falls High School and attended UW-River Falls before going to Yale University and earning a Ph.D. Swensen has been serving as the prestigious school's chief investment officer, managing its portfolio for more than 20 years.

He'll serve a two-year term on the president's advisory board with 16 other who are defined by a White House announcement as "distinguished citizens outside the government who are qualified on the basis of achievement, experience, independence and integrity."

The board will offer independent advice to the president as he makes and implements plans for economic recovery.

Swensen's parents, Richard and Grace, lived in River Falls 50 years before moving to Arden Hills, Minn. in 2004. The couple has five other children who have progressed to success, including Swensen's brother Stephen, now the national director of the well-known Mayo clinic.