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AIG Aid Player To Lead Treasury

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President-elect Barack Obama today said he would name Timothy Geithner–an official central to government efforts to shore up American International Group Inc.–to be his Treasury secretary.

Obama also has named Desiree Rogers, the president of social networking at Allstate Financial, a unit of Allstate Corp., Northbrook, Ill., to be special assistant to the president and White House social secretary.

Obama said he would name Lawrence Summers to be the chief White House economics advisor, with the title of director of the National Economic Council.

Obama named Christina Romer to be chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, and Melody Barnes and Heather Higginbottom to be director and deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council.

“Vice President-elect [Joe] Biden and I have assembled an economic team with the vision and expertise to stabilize our economy, create jobs, and get America back on track,” Obama said in a statement about his economic team.

Geithner now is president of the Federal Reserve Board of New York, where he oversees the government’s 79.9% stake in AIG.

Geithner helped shape the financial package that is keeping AIG in business.

Geithner joined the Treasury Department in 1988 and has served three presidents. From 1999 to 2001, he was Treasury under secretary for international affairs. He was director of the policy development department at the International Monetary Fund until 2003.

Geithner has a bachelor’s degree in Asian studies from Dartmouth College and a master’s degree in Asian studies and international economics from John Hopkins University.

Summers is an economics professor at Harvard University. He was the Treasury secretary in 1999, when the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act passed. The bill let the states continue to be the chief regulators of insurance.

Summers was president of Harvard from 2001 to 2006.

Romer is a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley, and before that was an assistant professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton.

Barnes was the senior domestic policy advisor for the president-elect’s presidential campaign. Barnes also was chief counsel to Senator Edward Kennedy on the Senate Judiciary Committee from December 1995 until March 2003.

Higginbottom was policy director for the Obama presidential campaign, and from 1999 to 2007 was legislative director for Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. She also was the deputy national policy director for the Kerry-Edwards presidential campaign for the primary and general elections.

Rogers, the president’s special assistant, joined Allstate Financial in July. She has been working to develop an Internet-based forum for the company’s customers.

Rogers serves on the boards of Allstate Life Insurance Company and of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Chicago, a unit of Health Care Service Corp.


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