WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is restructuring his economic advisory board to place an emphasis on job creation, and he is naming General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt as its new head.
The new board, called the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, will replace the former Economic Recovery Advisory Board that had been chaired by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker.
Obama announced late Friday that Volcker was ending his tenure on the panel when its mandate expires on Feb. 6.
The change signals Obama’s intention to shift from policies that were designed to stabilize the economy after the 2008 financial meltdown to a renewed focus on increasing employment, a vexing task that could affect his re-election prospects. Obama, in a statement released after midnight, said the board’s mission will be to help generate ideas from the private sector to speed up economic growth and promote American competitiveness.
“We still have a long way to go, and my number one priority is to ensure we are doing everything we can to get the American people back to work,” the president said.