Obama Names Outside Economic Advisory Board

Choosing from corporate boardrooms, labor unions and academia, President Obama named a team of outside economic advisers Friday that he says he will turn to for help in boosting the sagging U.S. economy.

As promised in November, the president signed an executive order that creates the Economic Recovery Advisory Board, headed by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker.

Obama introduced members of the team at a White House ceremony Friday morning. Volcker will serve as chairman. Austan Goolsbee, one of three members of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, will be the group's staff director and chief economist.

Board members include:

William H. Donaldson, who served as SEC chairman from 2003 to 2005
Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., president and CEO of the TIAA-CREF retirement fund
Robert Wolf, chairman and CEO of the financial services firm UBS Group Americas
David F. Swensen, CIO of Yale University
Mark T. Gallogly, founder and managing partner of the investment advisory firm Centerbridge Partners LP
Penny Pritzker, chairman and founder of Pritzker Realty Group
Jeffrey R. Immelt, CEO of General Electric
John Doerr, a partner with the venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers
Jim Owens, chairman and CEO of the heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar Inc.
Monica C. Lozano, publisher and CEO of the Spanish-language newspaper La Opinion
Charles E. Phillips Jr., president of the computer software maker Oracle Corp.
Anna Burger, secretary-treasurer of the Service Employees International Union and chairwoman of the labor coalition Change to Win
Richard L. Trumka, secretary-treasurer of the labor organization AFL-CIO
Laura D'Andrea Tyson, who served as a key economic adviser to President Bill Clinton and is dean of the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley
Martin Feldstein, George F. Baker Professor of Economics at Harvard University

The announcement came as employers eliminated 598,000 jobs in January, the most since the end of 1974, and the unemployment rate soared to 7.6 percent.

In a statement, the White House said the board will offer independent advice in regular briefings to the president, vice president and their economic team.

The White House said the board's initial focus will be programs to "jump-start economic growth."

From NPR reports and The Associated Press

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