Bush Taps New Chairman of Economic Advisers

President Bush has chosen Federal Reserve Board member Ben Bernanke (search) to be the next chairman of his Council of Economic Advisers, the White House announced Friday.

Bernanke would succeed Harvey Rosen (search), who has been serving as chairman since the departure of N. Gregory Mankiw earlier this year. Rosen had indicated that he wanted to serve only temporarily as chairman of the CEA, the three-member group that gives economic advice to the president.

Bernanke is considered one of the leading candidates to succeed Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan (search) when he steps down from the Fed next Jan. 31.

The White House said Bush would nominate Bernanke to be a member of the council and then, upon his confirmation by the Senate, would designate him as the chairman.

Before joining the Federal Reserve's seven-member board, Bernanke had been a professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University for 20 years.

He previously taught at Stanford University, New York University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard University and his doctorate from MIT.

Mankiw, the head of the economic council for the past two years, became a target of Democratic criticism during last year's presidential campaign over remarks he made on outsourcing, the movement of jobs overseas. He later apologized for his comments.

In a statement, Bernanke said, "I am honored by the president's intention to nominate me and, subject to Senate confirmation, I look forward to this new opportunity."

Fed spokeswoman Michelle Smith said that Bernanke intended to remain at the Fed until he was confirmed by the Senate but "he is recusing himself from monetary policy matters." Smith said Bernanke would not attend any further meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee, the panel that meets eight times a year to set interest rates.