Obama Picks El-Erian to Lead Global Development Council

President Barack Obama will appoint Mohamed El-Erian, the chief executive officer of Pacific Investment Management Co., to head the U.S. global development council.

El-Erian, who shares the title of co-chief investment officer of Newport Beach, California-based Pimco with Bill Gross, will be chairman of Obama’s global development council, which was created earlier this year to advise the president on ways to promote economic development and good governance in countries all over the world, according to a Dec. 21 statement from the White House. El-Erian, 54, will head the council as a member of the private sector and his role at Pimco won’t change.

El-Erian, the son of an Egyptian diplomat who’s fluent in English, French and Arabic, joined Pimco in 1999 as a senior member of the portfolio management and investment strategy group. He left in 2006 to serve as CEO of Harvard Management Co. and revamp the university’s endowment before rejoining Pimco in 2007. He also worked at the International Monetary Fund for 15 years, and served as the IMF’s deputy director from 1995 to 1997. El-Erian received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in economics from Cambridge University as well as a Ph.D. from Oxford University.

He coined the “new normal” phrase in 2009, which describes an era of lower returns, heightened government regulation, diminishing U.S. clout in the world economy and a bigger role for developing nations. El-Erian wrote a book “When Markets Collide” in 2008 that was a New York Times bestseller, and regularly writes commentaries for newspapers and websites on topics ranging from the global economy to education.

Other members appointed to the global development council by Obama include Richard Blum, chairman of investment firm Blum Capital Partners, and Sarah Beardsley Degnan Kambou, president of the International Center for Research on Women.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alexis Leondis in New York at aleondis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christian Baumgaertel at cbaumgaertel@bloomberg.net

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