NEW YORK (
) -- Barack Obama on Thursday nominated current White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew as the next Treasury secretary.
Should the U.S. Senate confirm Lew, he would replace Timothy Geithner after serving as the president's highest ranking employee for the past year.
"My loss will be the nation's gain," Obama said in a press conference.
Lew's critics have questioned his abilities for the post and pointed to his possible lack of fluency in capital markets, as the chief of staff's most notable private sector post included managing director positions in
(C - Get Report)
global wealth management division (2006-2008) and alternative investment arm (2008-2009).
Lew served as the president's director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) from 2010 to 2012, and worked as a professor of public administration at New York University in the early to mid-2000s. He served his first stint as the director of the OMB from 1998-2001. Lew got his start in government as a legislative aide in the House in 1973.
The nomination announcement likely marked one of Geithner's final public appearances as Treasury secretary. Geithner held a critical voice on controversial and unprecedented actions the Obama administration took to save the U.S. economy from the possibility of a deep depressionary cycle after the 2008 financial collapse.
Geithner received nearly a minute-long applause after Obama thanked him for his service and said he believed the Treasury secretary would be regarded as one of the nation's greatest.
-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.