United States President, Barack Obama has appointed a Nigerian national Adewale Adeyemo, to succeed Caroline Atkinson as his deputy national security adviser for international economic affair, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Adewale "Wally" Adeyemo,34, joined the White House's National Economic Council as deputy director this fall from the Treasury, where he served most recently as the deputy chief of staff to Secretary Jacob Lew.
Ms. Atkinson has served in her current post since June 2013, a position that includes coordinating U.S. participation in the annual summits of the Group of 20 and Group of Seven countries. Ms. Atkinson also played key roles in the recently concluded climate negotiations in Paris.
Mr. Adeyemo was the Treasury’s lead negotiator on the currency agreement that was part of the Pacific trade deal. He also worked on Treasury’s response to crises in Ukraine and Greece and in 2010 was one of the first officials charged with standing up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
In a statement, Mr. Obama thanked Ms. Atkinson for her service and said he was grateful that Mr. Adeyemo would carry on her work. Mr. Adeyemo had been nominated by Mr. Obama to serve as assistant Treasury secretary for international markets and development, but a White House official said Mr. Adeyemo had asked the president to withdraw the nomination given his new role.
The statement from Obama reads:
"For the past four years, I have relied on Caroline Atkinson, most recently as my Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics, as we’ve navigated pressing challenges to the global economy.
"As my representative at the G-7 and G-20, she played a key role in coordinating our response to international financial crises, worked with our allies to devise and implement targeted economic sanctions to advance our national security goals, played a vital role in our economic engagements with China, and helped to achieve breakthrough agreements on climate that will strengthen our economy and our security.
"I’ve relied on, and benefited from, Caroline’s knowledge and judgment and, as she concludes her tenure on my national security team, I am deeply appreciative of her service.
"I am grateful that Caroline’s work will be carried on by Adewale “Wally” Adeyemo, who has served in my administration since 2009. At the Treasury Department, he was part of the team that helped coordinate our response to the global recession, laying the foundation for renewed growth at home and abroad.
“He helped establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and he’s been our point person on a range of international economic issues, including negotiations on strong currency agreements around the Trans Pacific Partnership. I will be calling on Wally’s intellect, judgment and dedication as we sustain America’s global economic leadership, which reinforces our national security, and as we work with allies and partners around the world to create jobs and opportunity for all our people."
On his part, Mr. Lew said that Mr. Adeyemo had "developed a network of international relationships in economic offices around the world to promote U.S. interests effectively."
Former Treasury Secretary Tim Geihner said Mr. Adeyemo, who joined the administration in 2009, was a “natural diplomat with a great feel for policy."
The position has served as a springboard to even higher profile international finance posts.Mochael Froman, who is currently the U.S. trade representative, held the post under both Mr. Obama and President Bill Clinton. Federal Reserve governor Lael Brainard , who previously served as a senior Treasury official in the Obama administration, held the post in the Clinton administration.