President Obama today will name his current chief of staff, Jack Lew, to serve as the nation’s next treasury secretary, replacing Timothy Geithner, the White House announced.
“Jack Lew will bring an impressive record of service in both the public and private sectors for over three decades, and economic expertise, to this important role, and his deep knowledge of domestic and international economic issues will enable him to take on the challenges facing our economy at home and abroad on day one,” a White House official said. “Throughout his career, Jack Lew has proven a successful and effective advocate for middle-class families who can build bipartisan consensus to implement proven economic policies.”
As chief of staff for the past year and budget director before that, Lew has been intimately involved in the negotiations with Congress on the debt ceiling, averting a government shutdown and the fiscal cliff. It may be experience that will come in handy as he heads into several months of tough fiscal negotiations with congressional Republicans.
Officials familiar with the selection process said Lew was the only person under serious consideration to replace Timothy Geithner as treasury secretary.
A key factor in the president’s decision was Lew’s ability to get right to work on the first crises likely to face the next treasury secretary: the upcoming showdown with Congress over the debt ceiling, which will need to be raised in a matter of weeks, and automatic spending cuts set to take effect on March 2.
Lew’s experience as Bill Clinton’s budget director, when he helped craft a bi-partisan budget agreement that led to three years of budget surpluses, was also critical.
Lew also has private sector experience. Before joining the Obama administration in 2009 as deputy secretary of state, he served as the chief operating officer of Citigroup’s Global Wealth Management and Alternative Investments divisions.
President Obama will make the announcement in the East Room of the White House today at 1:30 p.m. ET, with Lew and Geithner at his side.