Krueger nominated as Council of Economic Advisers chairman
President Barack Obama nominated Wilson School professor Alan Krueger as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers today, following a White House leak on Sunday that Obama had selected Krueger to fill the post pending confirmation by the Senate.
If confirmed, Krueger will succeed former chairman and University of Chicago professor Austan Goolsbee.
“[Krueger is] one of the nation’s leading economists,” Obama said in his announcement of the nomination on Monday morning. “I have nothing but confidence in Alan as he takes on this important role as one of the leaders of my economic team.”
In a press release issued by the White House on Monday morning, Obama said that Krueger “understands the difficult challenges our country faces.”
Krueger most recently served as assistant secretary of the treasury for economic policy at the U.S. Treasury Department from 2009 to 2010, a service which Obama described as “invaluable” in his remarks.
A spokesman for Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told The Wall Street Journal that Geithner had full faith in the president’s choice. “Given his expertise in labor economics,” Geithner’s spokesman said, “he is precisely the right choice to lead the CEA at this moment in history.”
Members of the University community lauded both Krueger and the nominations. Wilson School professor Gene Grossman, who serves as chair of the economics department, said in an email that Krueger was an “excellent and almost obvious choice for the CEA Chair.”
“He has a flare for finding and using economic data that is second to none,” he added.
“He’s a phenomenal labor economist who’s worked on a very wide range of issues,” Wilson School professor Cecilia Rouse said. Rouse added that Krueger’s creativity “when it comes to diagnosing issues and coming up with policy solutions” made him “a terrific choice given where we are in terms of our economic recovery.”
Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) also praised Obama's decision in a press release sent out on Monday evening.
“I know Alan Krueger to be one of the best informed and most thoughtful economists in the country," he said. "I look forward to seeing the results of the new perspective and ideas that he will bring to the White House.”
The CEA, which includes of two members and a chairman, objectively advises the president on matters regarding domestic and international economic policy. Council members typically serve a term of two years.
Regarding the current climate of the economy and job market, Obama noted in his remarks that “our challenge is to create a climate where more businesses can post job listings, where folks can find good work that relieves the financial burden they’re feeling, where families can regain a sense of economic security in their lives.”
Bloomberg Television’s Michael McKee said that the White House tends to utilize the CEA chairman as “a spokesman for the administration’s economic policies,” making it likely that Krueger will lobby for more aggressive government action with regards to job creation.
Krueger, the Bendheim Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, has served on the University faculty since 1987 and is the founding director of the Survey Research Center.
Kruger has previously served as chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor during the Clinton administration, in addition to his more recent term at the Treasury.
He returned to the University last fall after leaving his Treasury post and resumed teaching in the spring.