Obama rolls out team with ‘vision and expertise’ to put America back on track (Lead)

November 25th, 2008 - 1:13 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaWashington, Nov 24 (IANS) Facing an “economic crisis of historic proportions”, President-elect Barack Obama Monday named an economic team “with the vision and expertise to stabilise our economy, create jobs, and get America back on track”.Introducing the five-member team at a press conference in Chicago, Obama said he sought leaders who share his fundamental belief that “we cannot have a thriving Wall Street without a thriving Main Street”.

For top two key players, Obama tapped New York Federal Reserve President Tim Geithner as treasury secretary and former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers as chief of the National Economic Council.

University of California-Berkeley economics professor Christina Romer has been chosen to be the chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.

The Council of Economic Advisers is a group of economists-including three who are appointed by the president and need Senate confirmation-that advise the president on economic policy.

Obama also announced Melody Barnes as director of the Domestic Policy Council and Heather Higginbottom as deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council.

“Vice President-elect (Joe) Biden and I have assembled an economic team with the vision and expertise to stabilise our economy, create jobs, and get America back on track,” he said.

“Even as we face great economic challenges, we know that great opportunity is at hand - if we act swiftly and boldly. That’s the mission our economic team will take on,” Obama said.

Geithner helped manage Wall Street’s financial meltdown earlier this year, overseeing the acquisition of Bear Stearns by JP Morgan Chase, the bailout of AIG and the collapse of Lehman Brothers. He was appointed as the New York Federal Reserve president in November 2003.

Summers served as treasury secretary in the administration of then President Bill Clinton. He was the chief economist of the World Bank from 1991 through 1993. Prior to his career in government, Summers taught economics at Harvard.

Romer is co-director of the Programme in Monetary Economics at the National Bureau of Economic Research and has been a visiting scholar at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

Melody Barnes is co-director of the Agency Review Working Group for the Obama-Biden Transition Team, and served as the Senior Domestic Policy Advisor to Obama for America. She previously served as Executive Vice President for Policy at the Centre for American Progress.

Heather Higginbottom served as Policy Director for Obama for America, overseeing all aspects of policy development. After the 2004 election, Higginbottom founded and served as Executive Director of the American Security Project, a national security think tank.

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