President Obama on Monday nominated Princeton professor Alan Krueger as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, as the administration gears up for a fall fight with Republicans over how to create jobs and reduce the deficit.
If confirmed, Krueger, a labor economist who served as assistant secretary for economic policy and chief economist in the Treasury Department from 2009-2010, would replace Austan Goolsbee, who left the White House for a teaching job at the University of Chicago.
The appointment comes at a critical time for the administration. Obama said he will deliver a speech next week in which he will propose new ideas for creating jobs, with the unemployment rate at 9.1 percent. On Monday, Obama called growing the economy “our great ongoing challenge as a nation.”
While announcing Krueger’s nomination during a brief Rose Garden appearance, Obama said: “I will be laying out a series of steps that Congress can take immediately to put more money in the pockets of working families and middle-class families, to make it easier for small businesses to hire people, to put construction crews to work rebuilding our nation’s roads and railways and airports and all the other measures that can help to grow this economy.
“These are bipartisan ideas that ought to be the kind of proposals that everybody can get behind, no matter what your political affiliation might be.”
Krueger is the Bendheim Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton and founding director of the Princeton University Survey Research Center. He has a long paper trail of academic papers.
“Alan brings a wealth of experience to the job,” Obama said. “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.”