- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 31, 2009

President Obama on Monday named a University of Maryland, College Park professor to his Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry.

Ed Montgomery, also a former Labor Department deputy secretary, was named director of the task force’s Auto Industry’s Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers.

He will be responsible for coordinating a government-wide effort to help support the workers, communities and regions that rely on the U.S. auto industry, according to the university.

“When a community is struck by a natural disaster, the nation responds to put it back on its feet,” Mr. Obama said. “While the storm that has hit our auto towns is not a tornado or a hurricane, the damage is clear, and we must likewise respond. And that’s why today I’m designating a new director of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers to cut through the red tape… Edward Montgomery has agreed to serve in this role.”

Earlier this year, Mr. Montgomery, dean of the university’s College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, was named by Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and National Economic Council Director Lawrence H. Summers an official designee to the task force to consider Chrysler and General Motors Corp.’s restructuring plans.

Auto workers and their families “will have a strong advocate in Ed,” Mr. Obama said. “He will direct a comprehensive effort that will help lift up the hardest-hit areas by using the unprecedented levels of funding available in our Recovery Act and throughout our government to create new manufacturing jobs and new businesses where they’re needed most — in your communities.”

The Behavioral and Social Sciences department is the university’s largest, with more than 5,500 undergraduate and 900 graduate students.

“We are quite excited that President Obama continues to access the world-class talent available at the University of Maryland,” said Nariman Farvardin, the university’s senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “We will certainly feel the loss of Dean Montgomery among our academic leadership, but we are very confident that he will be a great public servant on behalf of the nation.”

Mr. Montgomery became the dean in 2003. Prior to that he worked at the Labor Department in the Clinton administration.

He earned his bachelor’s of science degree from Pennsylvania State University in 1976 and a master’s and doctorate degree in economics from Harvard University. Mr. Montgomery is married to wife Kari with whom he has a son, E.J., and twin daughters, Lindsay and Elizabeth. They live in Fulton, Md.

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