For the first time since 2008, the Social Security Advisory Board is fully staffed. 

The board advises the president, Congress and the Commissioner of Social Security on matters relating to the nation’s retirement and disability systems. Its mandates also include increasing public understanding of the Social Security system. Members of the board normally number seven and are appointed on a bipartisan basis by the president, the Senate and the House. 

New members Henry Aaron of the Brookings Institution, Lanhee Chen of the Hoover Institution and Stanford University, and Alan Cohen of the Center for American Progress, were all confirmed by the Senate on Monday. Aaron will chair the board.

Aaron is the Bruce and Virginia MacLaury senior fellow in the Brookings Institution Economic Studies Program, which he directed from 1990 through 1996. He chaired the 1979 Advisory Council on Social Security and was a founding member, vice president, and board chair of the National Academy of Social Insurance. He has been vice president and member of the executive committee of the American Economic Association, was president of the Association of Public Policy and Management, and has been a member of the boards of directors of the College Retirement Equity Fund and Georgetown University. 

Chen is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, lecturer in public policy at Stanford University, and lecturer in law at Stanford Law School. Previously, he was the policy director for the Romney-Ryan presidential campaign, Romney’s chief policy adviser, and a senior strategist on the campaign. He also served as domestic policy director of Romney’s first presidential campaign in 2008. 

Cohen is a senior fellow working on Social Security issues at the Center for American Progress. Formerly, he served as the senior budget advisor and chief counselor for Social Security for the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance from 2001 to 2012. From 1993 to 2001, he served as senior advisor for budget and economics to the Secretary of the Treasury. Prior to that, he served as the budget economist for the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance and was assistant director of budget priorities for the Senate Budget Committee from 1983 to 1992.