Obama adviser Ron Bloom, engineer of auto industry rescue, returning to Pittsburgh
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WASHINGTON -- After more than two years helping engineer the auto industry rescue and manufacturing policy for the Obama administration, Ron Bloom is returning to Pittsburgh.
The White House announced Tuesday that Mr. Bloom, whose current title is Assistant to the President for Manufacturing Policy, will leave the administration at the end of this month to spend more time with his family.
Mr. Bloom was special assistant to the president of the United Steelworkers before he was tapped in early 2009 to serve on a Treasury Department task force to restructure the imperiled American auto industry.
President Barack Obama and his allies often tout the federal bailouts of Chrysler and General Motors as major accomplishments of his presidency, noting that the two companies once appeared to be heading for the scrap heap.
Both companies have emerged from bankruptcy, and the Treasury estimates that taxpayers will recover all but about $14 billion of the $80 billion bailout.
In September 2009, Mr. Bloom moved to lead the administration's manufacturing policy, including negotiating a recent deal with automakers to raise average fuel efficiency of light-duty vehicles to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.
"For the past two and a half years, Ron Bloom's leadership and expertise has helped us put America's automakers back on the road to recovery, launch new partnerships to make our manufacturers more competitive, and set aggressive fuel economy standards that will save consumers and businesses money at the pump," Mr. Obama said in a statement. "I'm grateful for his service, and wish him well in his future endeavors."
In a statement, Thomas J. Gibson, president of the American Iron and Steel Institute, a Washington-based industry group, praised Mr. Bloom and said he hopes the White House finds a comparable replacement quickly.
A native of New York, Mr. Bloom, 56, graduated from Harvard Business School and worked as an investment banker before joining USW in 1996. There he specialized in companies going through corporate transition or financial strife.
"I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to serve under President Obama and alongside so many talented individuals who worked tirelessly to strengthen the economy and help communities across the nation," Mr. Bloom said in a statement.
First Published August 10, 2011 12:00 am