Larry Summers is no stranger to Washington, having served as Treasury secretary during the Clinton administration and chief economist of the World Bank before that. Summer became president of Harvard University after serving under President Clinton, but resigned from the post in 2006 after several controversial statements, including one that males perform better in science and engineering than women.
Before being selected to director of the National Economic Council, Summers had been rumored to be a candidate for the Treasury secretary spot. But while Obama has based his entire presidential campaign on the idea of change, some observers are befuddled by his decision to hire Summers into a top economic position.
"Unfortunately, Summers has been much-maligned as the president of Harvard," Williams said. "But he knows Washington pretty well. He's a bit long in the tooth, and I'm not sure he's the most creative thinker to use new approaches, but that's where Geithner comes in."