Nigerian-born Adewale Adeyemo made history in the United States on Tuesday as President Barrack Obama appointed him as the deputy national security adviser (NSA) for international economics.
Obama made the epoch announcement as he praised Adeyemo’s brilliance and exceptional strength in helping the US combat global economic recession which started in 2008.
President Barack Obama has tapped Adewale “Wally” Adeyemo, who served in top roles at the Treasury Department, to succeed Caroline Atkinson as his deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs.
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 and in pushing the White House’s trade agenda, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.
Mr. 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. He was the Treasury’s lead negotiator on the currency agreement that was part of the Pacific trade deal.
Mr. Adeyemo 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.
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 Geithner 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. Michael 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.
ADEYEMO PAYS TRIBUTE TO NIGERIAN PARENTS
The young, enterprising and brilliant Nigerian took out time to thank his parents who afforded him the opportunity to reach the peak he has attained as he thanked them in a moving tribute.
He said: “While they could not be here today, I want to acknowledge my father and mother who immigrated to this country in search of the American dream and the opportunity to give my brother, sister, and me a better life,”he had said.
“They have worked hard, as an elementary school principal and a nurse, to give tremendous opportunities to their children, but along the way, they have instilled in us the values that guide us every day.
“They often remind us that this country affords the chance to do anything we wanted if we work hard. And they have taught us that we have a responsibility to serve the community and the country that has afforded them so many opportunities.”