President Obama named Princeton University economist Alan Krueger to head the White House Council of Economic Advisors on Monday.
“Alan brings a wealth of experience to the job. He's one of the nation's leading economists. For more than two decades he's studied and developed economic policy both inside and outside of government. In the first two years of this administration, as we were dealing with the effects of a complex and fast-moving financial crisis, a crisis that threatened a second Great Depression, Alan's counsel as chief economist at the Treasury Department proved invaluable,” Obama said.
Margaret Simms, an economist at the Urban Policy Institute, applauded the president’s pick and said that Krueger is a labor economist who would likely try to seek solutions to the persistently high level of unemployment among African-Americans.
“I think it’s a good choice. Of course, an advisor is only as good as the advice taken, but he has a long record in labor economics and looking at issues around racial inequality that would suggest that he would at least explore policies that would be supportive of ways of increasing employment for minorities,” said Simms. “When he was at Treasury he did reach out to researchers and advocates who are focused on issues of equity and urban development for advice and input on some issues.”
If confirmed, Krueger would succeed Austan Goolsbee, who recently left to return to his teaching position at the University of Chicago. Krueger was also a chief economist at the Labor Department during the Clinton administration.
Obama also said that next week he plans to announce a series of immediate steps that Congress can take to boost the economy and job creation.
“That’s our urgent mission,” he said. “That’s what I’m fighting for every single day.”
(Photo: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)