Updated: 7:47 p.m.
President Barack Obama will lose his top economic adviser at the end of the year when Lawrence Summers returns to the faculty of Harvard University, the White House announced Tuesday.
Summers, the current director of the National Economic Council, will continue to serve on the President’s Economic Advisory Board.
Obama praised Summers in a statement released by the White House. “Over the past two years, he has helped guide us from the depths of the worst recession since the 1930s to renewed growth,” Obama said. “And while we have much work ahead to repair the damage done by the recession, we are on a better path thanks in no small measure to Larry’s wise counsel. We will miss him here at the White House.”
The president had hedged on the futures of Summers and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner when asked at a town hall meeting Monday about a possible shake-up of his economic team. He said “the bottom line” is making sure that the administration is working as well as it could.
Summers will be the third high-profile member of the economic team to leave. Peter Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget, departed this summer, and Christina Romer, the head of the Council of Economic Advisers, stepped down this month. Romer has been replaced by Austan Goolsbee, and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Tuesday approved the nomination of Jacob Lew to replace Orszag.