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Obama taps Justice Department official for economic team and appoints executives to new advisory panel

February 23, 2011 | 11:40 am

President Obama on Thursday nominated Carl Shapiro, a Justice Department economist on leave from UC Berkeley, to the White House Council of Economic Advisors.

Obama also moved to fill the newly created Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, headed by General Electric Co. Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt, by appointing 22 people. Many of them are leading business executives, including Comcast Corp. CEO Brian Roberts, Intel Corp. CEO Paul Otellini and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.

Shapiro's nomination must be approved by the Senate. He is assistant attorney general for economics in the Justice Department's Antitrust Division, a job he also held from 1995 to 1996 during the Clinton administration. Shapiro is on leave from a joint appointment to the Berkeley economics department and Haas School of Business.

Shapiro would replace Cecilia Rouse on the three-member Council of Economic Advisors, which is part of the president's economic team. Rouse is returning to Princeton University.

Appointees to Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness do not need Senate confirmation. Obama announced the panel in his State of the Union address last month. He named Immelt shortly afterward in a move seen as helping mend relations with the business community.

Also named to the panel, which will offer Obama periodic advice, were former AOL Corp. CEO Steve Case, American Express Co. CEO Kenneth Chenault, Citigroup Inc. Chairman Richard Parsons and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

-- Jim Puzzanghera