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Clinton Economic Adviser May Leave

June 7, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Janet Yellen, chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, is planning to leave the Clinton administration, an administration official said today.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Yellen’s departure would occur soon. The CEA chairman is considered the president’s chief economist and the three-member panel serves as the administration’s in-house think tank on economic policy.

Last month, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin announced he would be stepping down in July, and last week Alice Rivlin, whom Clinton appointed as vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, announced her resignation from the central bank.

Yellen had served as head of the three-member CEA since 1997. At the time, her appointment was seen as an administration effort to foster closer ties with the Federal Reserve, where Yellen was serving when Clinton tapped her for the CEA post.

Yellen had been one of Clinton’s first two appointments to the Fed. Before joining the central bank, Yellen had been an economics professor at the University of California at Berkeley specializing in the causes and implications of unemployment.

Yellen was Clinton’s third CEA chairman, following Laura Tyson, another Berkeley professor, and Joseph Stiglitz. Tyson has returned to Berkeley as dean of the business school while Stiglitz is now chief economist at the World Bank.

Yellen’s departure would leave the Council of Economic Advisers with only one confirmed member, Rebecca M. Blank. Clinton has nominated Harvard professor Robert Lawrence to fill a vacancy on the three-member panel, but the Senate has not yet acted on the nomination.

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