Obama chooses Christina Romer as chief economic adviser

President-elect Barack Obama has chosen Christina Romer, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, as the head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

The pick is to be announced at a news conference later today, where Obama will also unveil his selection of Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary and Lawrence Summers as head of the White House National Economic Council.

The three-member Council of Economic Advisers makes recommendations to the president on policy options. Along with the director of the National Economic Council, the CEA chairperson plays an influential role in crafting the president's policy plans.

As NEC director, Summers' portfolio will be broader as the White House point person for coordinating economic policy throughout the administration.

Romer is a macroeconomist and specialist on the effects of fiscal policy and on monetary shocks. She has written extensively on the Great Depression in the 1930s.

She is co-director of the monetary economics programme at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Romer is also a member of the panel at the NBER's Business Cycle Dating Committee, which is considered the nation's arbiter of recessions and economic recovery periods.

Additionally, the President-elect has announced that Desiree Rogers, the president of social networking at Allstate Financial, will be White House social secretary.

Rogers previously worked as utilities president of Chicago-based natural gas company Peoples Energy and as director of the Illinois Lottery.

Melissa Winter, Mrs Obama's travelling chief of staff during the campaign, will join the White House team as deputy chief of staff to the first lady.