President Barack Obama's top economic adviser, Austan Goolsbee, is returning to his teaching job after just a year in the job, the White House announced Monday, as the government continues to try to right the recession-plagued economy.
Goolsbee, chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), will be returning to his tenured job as economics professor at the University of Chicago in time for the academic year that begins in September, the White House said. Goolsbee has been on the job for less than a year. He took the top economic adviser position in September 2010, replacing Christina Romer, who also left to return to academia. His departure comes as Obama gears up for his 2012 re-election campaign, with the economy set to be the main issue on the minds of voters. The council is a three-member panel that provides advice based on economic research and analysis to the president on domestic and international issues. 'One of America's Great Economic Thinkers' Goolsbee, 41, has been with Obama since he served as an advisor in the president's 2008 election campaign, and earlier served as economic adviser during his 2004 senate campaign. Before taking the job as CEA chairman, Goolsbee had been the chief economist on the president's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, which Obama set up to provide outside and independent advice as he navigates the economic recovery. He also has been one of the three CEA members. Goolsbee "has helped steer our country out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression," Obama said in a statement, "and although there is still much work ahead, his insights and counsel have helped lead us toward an economy that is growing and creating millions of jobs." Obama praised Goolsbee as "one of America's great economic thinkers" and "a close friend and one of my most trusted advisers." In the statement, Goolsbee praised Obama's judgment and courage "in confronting the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes." Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011