Saturday, 19 December 2015

Meet Adeyemo, Son of Nigerian Immigrant Whom Obama Appointed Security Adviser

President Barrack Obama of the United States on Tuesday appointed Nigeria-born Adewale Adeyemo as the deputy national security adviser (NSA) for international economics. In a statement annoucing Adeyemo’s appointment, Obama said the African-American helped the US combat global economic recession which started in 2008. “I am grateful that Caroline’s (Atkinson, former deputy NSA) work will be carried on by Adewale ‘Wally’ Adeyemo, who has served in my administration since 2009,” he said. 

“At the treasury department, he was part of the team that helped coordinate our response to the global recession, laying the foundation for renewed growth at home and abroad. “He helped establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and he’s been our point person on a range of international economic issues, including negotiations on strong currency agreements around the trans pacific partnership. 

“I will be calling on Wally’s intellect, judgment and dedication as we sustain America’s global economic leadership, which reinforces our national security, and as we work with allies and partners around the world to create jobs and opportunity for all our people.” 


When he appeared before the US senate committee on banking, housing, and urban affairs in September, he appreciated his parents who left Nigeria to seek a better life for him. “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.” 


The 34-year-old graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a bachelor’s of arts, before moving to Yale Law School, where he bagged his Juris Doctor (JD) for further studies in specialised law. While at Yale, he was the co-director, project on law and education for the university. Before his appointment, Adeyemo was the deputy chief of staff at the department of the treasury, a position he held for three years. He has served in various positions at treasury, including senior advisor to the chief of staff and deputy executive secretary. Adeyemo also worked as the chief of staff at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from 2010 to 2011.  He was an editor for the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution from 2008 to 2009. 


The governor of the US federal reserves is equivalent to that of Nigeria’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Adeyemo’s position as deputy NSA has been the springboard to Michael Froman, who is currently the US trade representative and Lael Brainard, Federal Reserve governor. 

American finance experts also believe that the post can serve as a springboard to the Nigeria-born who is toeing the same line as those who have gone ahead of him on the job. But the question still remains; can Adeyemo become the first Nigerian US citizen to be governor of the US federal reserve?

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