ABC News’ Jonathan Karl reports:
Christina Romer is resigning as the Chairwoman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, according to sources familiar with her decision.
The sources say Romer has long planned to return to California – she was a professor at the University of California, Berkley before coming to the White house – in time for her teenage son to begin high school there.
In a paper statement late this evening President Obama was quoted as saying, “Christy Romer has provided extraordinary service to me and our country during a time of economic crisis and recovery,” the President said. “The challenges we faced demanded more of Christy than any of her predecessors, and I greatly valued and appreciated her skill, commitment and wise counsel.”
According to the White House, she will be returning to her teaching job at Berkley, although there has long been speculation she may be next in line to become president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. The current president of the San Francisco Fed is Janet Yellin, who has been nominated by President Obama to be the Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve, but has not been confirmed yet by the Senate.
The source insisted Romer is leaving for personal reasons, although it is no secret that she has frequently clashed with Larry Summers, another one of the President’s top economic advisors. Summers has a reputation for being gruff and arrogant.
“Larry treats her like he treats everyone,” said one administration official. “It definitely grates on her.”
This is the second member of the President economic team to leave in a week. Peter Orzsag stepped down on Friday as the director of the Office of Management and Budget.
- Jonathan Karl