To fill the void left by controversial (and recently resigned) Lawrence Summers, President Obama has named Gene Sperling as the new director of the administration’s National Economic Council. The Huffington Post calls Sperling a “veteran policy and political player.” Considering the divided nature of the current Congress, experts predict Gene Sperling will have difficult economic policy work ahead.
Gene Sperling will watch unemployment, budget and deficit
The challenges Gene Sperling, 52, will face in his position as head of the NEC will be made none the easier by a divided Congress and an Obama administration that is currently in the middle of major shake-ups. However, the December jobs report – where unemployment is down to 9.4 percent, the lowest figure since May 2009 – could shed some positive light on Sperling’s road ahead.
Once he takes hold of the reins of his new office, Gene Sperling will be charged with accelerating the U.S. economic recovery, which will include deflating the still-daunting unemployment figures. By the time President Obama is in full re-election mode for 2012, Sperling will be waist-deep in the economic policies the president plans to feature.
A pragmatic approach to policy
A former senior adviser to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Gene Sperling was deputy NEC director under former President Bill Clinton. In 1993, Sperling played a significant role in devising a deficit reduction bill. Sperling was also as an economic adviser to 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry.
According to the Huffington Post, Sperling is considered to be a man who not only knows economic policy, but can explain it in a very pragmatic fashion, whether it be in legislative or campaign environments. Sperling has also been noted for his work with Goldman Sachs to provide business education for women in developing countries.