Yellen Pick for Top Overseas Job Withdrawn in Staffing Struggle

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s pick for her department’s top international job was withdrawn, after the White House’s personnel office told economist Heidi Crebo-Rediker that she will not be nominated, according to people familiar with the matter.

Crebo-Rediker, a former investment banker, was not given a reason by the presidential personnel office, the people said. She is a former Obama-era appointee who worked for then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and was slated to be nominated as undersecretary of international affairs at the Treasury Department.

The role manages U.S. currency policy and relationships with foreign finance ministries on global economic matters. It’s been conspicuously vacant during Yellen’s current visit to Europe, her second overseas trip as Treasury secretary, where she’s built international backing for a new global minimum tax and pressed European counterparts to remove digital services taxes that may discriminate against American tech giants.

Yellen’s team previously interviewed former Treasury official Marisa Lago, who now works for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and during the transition considered Nancy Lee, an ex-Treasury official and currently a senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development, Bloomberg News has reported. Neither is being reconsidered for the job at this time, people familiar with the matter said.

A holdup over what constitutes a suitable candidate for the job now has the Treasury putting a pause on filling the undersecretary role for the time being, the people said.

Crebo-Rediker did not respond to a request for comment. Spokespeople for the White House and Treasury both declined to comment.

Crebo-Rediker worked as a senior investment banker in Europe for nearly two decades, with employers including Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers. She was also chief of international finance and economics for the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. More recently, she has been chief executive officer of advisory firm International Capital Strategies.

Long-time civil servant Andy Baukol is now serving as acting undersecretary of international affairs, and David Lipton, the former No. 2 at the International Monetary Fund, is a counselor to Yellen. Itai Grinberg and Rebecca Kysar are managing global tax talks, a key component of this year’s international agenda for the agency, as deputy assistant secretary and counselor, respectively.

Yellen currently does not have any Senate confirmed undersecretaries in the building. Nellie Liang, a former Federal Reserve official tapped to run the domestic finance office, is awaiting a vote, as is Brian Nelson, who is set to run the sanctions unit. Both have already had confirmation hearings.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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