November 24, 2008 / 4:06 PM / in 10 years

Obama taps Berkeley professor as senior economist

Council of Economic Advisors Director-designate Christina Romer listens as President-elect Barack Obama announces the members of his economic policy team during a news conference in Chicago, November 24, 2008. REUTERS/John Gress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President-elect Barack Obama has chosen Christina Romer, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, as the head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, a Democratic source told Reuters on Monday.

The pick is to be announced at an 11 a.m. CST (12 p.m. EST) news conference, where Obama will also unveil his selection of Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary and Lawrence Summers as head of the White House National Economic Council.

The three-member Council of Economic Advisers makes recommendations to the president on policy options. Along with the director of the National Economic Council, the CEA chairperson plays an influential role in crafting the president’s policy plans.

As NEC director, Summers’ portfolio will be broader as the White House point person for coordinating economic policy throughout the administration.

Romer is a macroeconomist and specialist on the effects of fiscal policy and on monetary shocks. She has written extensively on the Great Depression in the 1930s.

She is co-director of the monetary economics program at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Romer is also a member of the panel at the NBER’s Business Cycle Dating Committee, which is considered the nation’s arbiter of recessions and economic recovery periods. (Reporting by Caren Bohan and Jeff Mason; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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