President Barack Obama appointed Gene Sperling LAW ’85 to direct the National Economic Council Friday morning, ending weeks of speculation that University President Richard Levin would be appointed to the role.
Obama announced Sperling’s appointment as a part of a series of economic appointments made during a visit to a window manufacturing plant in Landover, Maryland. During his remarks, Obama said he had selected Sperling for the role — which serves to coordinate and implement the President’s economic policies — in part because of Sperling’s previous experience. Sperling directed the NEC from 1996 to 2000 under President Bill Clinton LAW ’73.
“This is his second tour of duty heading up the NEC,” Obama said. “In his tenure in the Clinton administration during the late ‘90s, he helped formulate the policies that contributed to turning deficits to surpluses and a time of prosperity and progress for American families in a sustained way.”
Obama added that the administration is “lucky” to have Sperling back at the NEC. Sperling had been already been a member of the administration, serving as a counselor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
In a statement, Levin praised Obama’s selection of Sperling for the role and noted Sperling’s experience.
“Gene Sperling is a terrific choice as Director of the National Economic Council,” Levin said in the statement. “He has deep knowledge of economic policy and ideal experience for the task at hand.”
Still, Obama has not announced his choice to replace Paul Volcker as chair of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, the 17-member commission that Obama appointed after his inauguration to provide additional economic advice. Levin has been under consideration to replace Volcker, who plans to step down from the position after a two-year term.
If appointed to replace Volcker, Levin would be able to fill the role while remaining at Yale as University president.