- The Washington Times - Monday, June 6, 2011

President Obama’s chief economist, Austan Goolsbee, will step down later this year to resume his teaching post at the University of Chicago in time for the fall semester, the White House announced Monday night.

Mr. Goolsbee, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), has played a central role in crafting Mr. Obama’s economic policies over the past two and a half years, and is a regular fixture on political talk shows and the White House website.

His resignation follows the departures of several members of Mr. Obama’s top economic team who have returned to academia. Former CEA chair Christina Romer and former senior economic adviser Larry Summers both left the White House last year.

“Since I first ran for the U.S. Senate, Austan has been a close friend and one of my most trusted advisers,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. “Over the past several years, he has helped steer our country out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, 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. He is one of America’s great economic thinkers.”

Prior to serving as CEA chairman, Mr. Goolsbee was the staff economist for the president’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.