Obama's economic adviser to leave
WASHINGTON — President Obama will replace Gene Sperling, his chief economic adviser and West Wing workaholic, with Jeffrey Zients, a top aide who has filled in as acting budget director and who led a White House effort to streamline government.
Zients would replace Sperling as director of Obama's National Economic Council, a post Sperling held for nearly three years, serving as Obama's economic whisperer during fiscal wrangles with Congress. Sperling plans to leave Jan. 1.
Obama announced the change on Friday, describing Sperling as “one of my closest advisers and a close friend.” He praised Zients as an admired and respected aide in the White House with “a sterling reputation as a business leader.”
Zients is a management consultant who joined the White House in 2009 as chief performance officer, heading an effort to streamline government and cut costs. Obama later chose him twice as acting director of the Office of Management and Budget and he has been considered for other top posts.
Sperling served in the same top economic post under President Clinton. He's said to be leaving for personal reasons. His wife, a writer and producer, works in Los Angeles, and Sperling has been commuting between Washington and California. Before becoming director of the National Economic Council, Sperling worked at the Treasury Department advising then-Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner during the first two years of the Obama administration.
Sperling is famous for his long hours and for an ability to blend policy and politics with a negotiator's skill.
Upon hearing the news, Kenneth Baer, a former White House budget office official, posted on Twitter: “When Gene leaves the WH, will his workhorse of a coffee maker go to the Smithsonian?”
Zients joined the White House after 20 years of business experience as a chief executive, management consultant and entrepreneur. He was a founder and managing partner of the investment firm Portfolio Logic.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Prison term for Detroit porch gunman debated
- Military pilot was killed in Va. crash
- Judge reaffirms Texas’ ‘Robin Hood’ system of school funding unconstitutional
- Arizona county clears girl shooter in gun range death
- U.S. waffling on ISIS feeds confusion among possible allies
- Study examines body’s bacteria on move indoors
- Death Valley ‘sailing rocks’ linked to freeze-warm cycle
- Chicago officer accused of putting gun in suspect’s mouth
- Obama rules out military response
- Doctor’s license reinstated pending hearing in W.Va.
- Invasive species in Great Lakes partially blamed on anglers