Obama Nominates Three to Treasury

President Barack Obama late Monday announced three nominations for key roles to serve under Treasury Department secretary Tim Geithner. The nominations, according to a White House press release, fill three of the four “most senior” positions under the secretary. “I am grateful for the service of these dedicated and talented individuals and have the highest confidence that, under the leadership of Secretary Geithner, they will serve the American people well as we tackle the challenges ahead of us,” Obama said. The nominee for deputy secretary — and a Treasury veteran who served as general counsel from 1999 to 2001 — is Neal Wolin, the former president and chief operating officer for property and casualty operations at The Hartford Financial Services Group. Wolin briefly served as deputy counsel on economic policy to Obama before being asked to return to the Treasury, White House officials said. A graduate twice of Yale (Yale College and later Yale Law School) and once of the University of Oxford, Wolin brings a strong background of law and economics to the role. Then, for the role of under secretary of the Treasury for international affairs, Obama said he plans to nominate Lael Brainard. Currently serving as vice president and founding director of the global economy and development program at the Brookings Institute, Brainard is a veteran of the Clinton Administration, where she worked as deputy national economic adviser and deputy assistant for international economics. A graduate twice from Harvard University (masters and doctoral degrees in Economics) and once from Wesleyan University, Brainard brings a rich history of international relations to the position. She has served as the U.S. sherpa to the G8, worked on micro finance in West Africa and received a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship. Wolin and Brainard both face Senate confirmations. Obama also nominated, as under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, Stuart Levey, who retains the position. Confirmed by the Senate in July 2004, Levey will continue to head the office that marshals the Treasury’s efforts to cease financial support abroad to international terrorists, narcotics traffickers and other sources of national threat. A graduate twice from Harvard (Harvard College in 1986 and Harvard Law School in 1989), Levey previously served as principal associate deputy attorney general at the U.S. Department of Justice. Geithner has been taking the heat lately for the lack of hires in these top positions. After the fourth potential Treasury nominee dropped from the running earlier this month, sources told the Washington Post that under-staffing issues might hamper the Treasury’s ability to handle the financial crisis. Write to Diana Golobay at diana.golobay@housingwire.com.

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