US President Barack Obama Friday named government budget expert Jeffrey Zients as next director of the National Economic Council (NEC) -- his top economic adviser.
Zients will replace Gene Sperling, who had served the same position in the Clinton administration. He will be departing the White House Jan 1, Xinhua reported.
"Over the past four and a half years, Gene has been one of my closest advisers and a close friend. Gene understands better than anybody that our top priority as a nation is making sure that our economy once again works for working Americans," Obama said in a statement.
"He has been a tireless proponent of efforts to strengthen the recovery and make our tax code more fair, whether in helping to design the payroll tax cut, fighting for job-creating tax credits for tens of millions of hardworking Americans or developing the American Jobs Act," Obama said.
Zients served as the acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget from January 2012 to April 2013.
"Before heading up the office of management and budget, Jeff spent decades as a successful entrepreneur in the private sector. Jeff has a sterling reputation as a business leader, and he earned the admiration and respect of everyone he worked with during his four years in leadership positions at the office of management and budget," Obama said.
Zients has 20 years of experience as a chief executive, management consultant and entrepreneur before serving in the government. He served as CEO and chairman of the Advisory Board Company and as chairman of the Corporate Executive Board.
"I am certain that in Jeff's hands we will continue to have strong leadership of our economic policy team and his advice will be critical as we keep moving this country forward and building an economy where everyone who works hard can get ahead," Obama said.