Reporting from Washington — President Obama will name economist Austan Goolsbee to head his Council of Economic Advisors during a news conference Friday, filling a crucial position with a longtime advisor and friend from his tenure at the University of Chicago.
A data-driven economist known for his work in tax policy, Goolsbee will step up from his current position as a member of the CEA to head the council at a crucial moment, according to an administration official.
The position was vacated last week by Berkeley economist Christina Romer, who left after a brutal 20 months of wrestling with the faltering economy. Romer said she wanted to return to California for family reasons, but she also is under consideration to run the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank.
Romer's departure opened an important position in the White House, especially given Obama's latest emphasis on the economy.
This week he launched a push for a new series of economic initiatives, including several business tax credits he hopes will spur the economy. The White House's fall election strategy is based on those plans and on a proposal to allow the expiration of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.