White House Correspondent
Twenty months into her role as the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, Dr. Christina Romer is leaving the White House to return to her position as a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley. While the official White House press release states that Romer is stepping down to return to her family (her son will be starting high school in the fall), sources inside the White House
said privately that Romer had been "frustrated" in the job, and that tensions over the slow pace of the nation's economic recovery had created tension among staff members.
President Obama, in the statement, said that "While Christy's family commitments require that she return home, I'm gratified that she will continue to offer her insights and advice as a member of my Economic Recovery Advisory Board." As chair of the Council Economic Advisors, Romer had been tasked with providing analysis of economic developments and data used in the development of the president's economic policy.
The White House has come under increasing fire for its assertion that the country's unemployment rate would not go above 8 percent following passage of the economic stimulus bill. Instead, the figure continues to hover near 9.5 percent
. This week, Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner said that the unemployment rate may climb even higher
as the recovery continues.
Romer is scheduled to leave Washington at the end of the month.