WASHINGTON (11/25/08)—President-elect Barack Obama has put together an economic team for his incoming administration that is both highly experienced and well regarded, said Credit Union National Association President/CEO Dan Mica Monday. Obama, who will be sworn in Jan. 20 as the 44th President of the United States, announced the names of five of his intended economic advisers, including Timothy Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury. Geithner currently serves as president/CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where he has played a key role in formulating the nation's monetary policy. Upon hearing the Obama transition announcement, CUNA’s Mica said the challenge to the credit union movement now is to ensure that team has a clear understanding of the role of credit unions in serving 91 million Americans. The CUNA leader said credit unions also must work to clearly define for the new administration the unique nature of credit unions as cooperative, not-for-profit financial institutions. He added that this goal includes “the vital issue of maintaining an independent regulator and insurance fund for credit unions.” “Developing this understanding is no unusual task for CUNA and credit unions – it is something we have done with nearly every new administration. Yet, we are consistently successful in developing a solid working relationship with each administration and impressing upon each with the need to support credit unions whenever they are considering action related to the financial system. “We fully expect to be successful again and look forward to working with this new team,” Mica pronounced. The Obama transition team announced the following:
* Geithner as Treasury Secretary. Before joining the Federal Reserve System, Geithner joined Treasury in 1988 and has served three presidents. From 1999 to 2001, he was Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs. Then he served as director of the Policy Development and Review Department at the International Monetary Fund until 2003. * Lawrence Summers to be nominated as Director of the National Economic Council. Summers is currently the Charles W. Eliot University Professor at Harvard University and served as 71st Secretary of the Treasury from 1999 to 2001. He has also been the World Bank's top economist. * Christina Romer to be nominated Director of the Council of Economic Advisors. Romer is the Class of 1957 Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley, where she has taught and researched since 1988. Prior to joining the Berkeley faculty, Romer was an assistant professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She is co-director of the Program 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 to be nominated Director of the Domestic Policy Council. 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. Barnes previously served as Executive Vice President for Policy at the Center for American Progress and as chief counsel to Senator Edward M. Kennedy on the Senate Judiciary Committee from December 1995 until March 2003. * Heather Higginbottom to be nominated as Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council. Higginbottom served as Policy Director for Obama for America, overseeing all aspects of policy development. From 1999 to 2007, Higginbottom served as Senator John Kerry's Legislative Director. She also served as the Deputy National Policy Director for the Kerry-Edwards Presidential Campaign for the primary and general elections. After the 2004 election, Higginbottom founded and served as Executive Director of the American Security Project, a national security think tank. She started her career as an advocate at the national non-profit organization Communities in Schools.
Once instated as the country’s chief executive, Obama must formally nominate his candidates for the positions he has designated. They, in turn, must go through a thorough vetting process by the U.S. Congress, which will either confirm or deny them the positions.