President Barack Obama announced Monday that he would appoint Princeton professor Alan Krueger to lead the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Krueger, a labor economist and advocate of more direct government action to combat high unemployment, previously served in the Treasury Dept. during President Obama's first two years, and is credited with the successful "Cash for Clunkers" program that helped the U.S. auto industry get back on its feet and a number of tax incentive programs that encouraged some new hiring. He also served at the Treasury during the Clinton administration.

If confirmed by the Senate, Krueger will replace Austan Goolsbee, Obama's former chief economist who left last month.

"I rely on the Council of Economic Advisers to provide unvarnished analysis and recommendations, not based on politics, not based on narrow interests, but based on the best evidence -- based on what’s going to do the most good for the most people in this country," Obama said during a brief press conference Monday morning.

"And that’s more important than ever right now.  We need folks in Washington to make decisions based on what’s best for the country, not what’s best for any political party or special interest.  That’s how we’ll get through this period of economic uncertainty, and that’s the only way that we’ll be able to do what’s necessary to grow the economy."