Indian-American Aaron ‘Ronnie’ Chatterji has stepped down as a White House coordinator at the National Economic Council (NEC), and will be returning to his post as a business professor at Duke University.
Chaterji was appointed to the top post by President Joe Biden’s administration in September last year for the implementation of the CHIPS and Science Act’s historic $50 billion investment in the semiconductor industry at NEC.
“Looking forward to returning to @DukeFuqua after 2 great years in the Biden Administration. Thank you to all my colleagues @WhiteHouse & @CommerceGov. Excited to continue work on these important economic & national security issues,” Chatterji tweeted on Wednesday.
During his service at the White House, he had taken a leave of absence from the Fuqua School of Business.
The CHIPS and Science Act was passed last year to increase production of semiconductors, strengthen research and design leadership, and grow a diverse semiconductor workforce to give the country a competitive edge on the world stage.
According to Politico, Chatterji’s departure comes as the Biden administration’s semiconductor strategy has evolved from a frenzied search for a short-term fix to the global chips shortage to placing long-term bets on US-based manufacturing facilities in an effort to depend less on suppliers in Taiwan, which has become a political liability amid rising tensions with China.
Chatterji had served as the Chief Economist of the Department of Commerce since April 2021 where he was the principal economic adviser to the Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.
In that role, he was responsible for developing policy related to US competitiveness, labour markets, supply chains, innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic growth.
Raimondo in a statement to Politico described Chatterji as “an incredible asset” to the administration, adding that she “relied on his expertise and guidance to help make major strides in bolstering America’s supply chains, strengthening national security, and creating good jobs across America”.
Chatterji also worked in the administration for former President Barack Obama, serving as a senior economist at the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers and as a visiting Associate Professor at Harvard Business School.
Having served as a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and worked as a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs, Chatterji has several awards to his credit.
He received the 2017 Kauffman Prize Medal for Distinguished Research in Entrepreneurship, Rising Star award from the Aspen Institute, and the Strategic Management Society Emerging Scholar Award.
He received his Ph.D. from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley and his B.A. in Economics from Cornell University.