KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — The man who served as President Barack Obama’s “auto czar” will soon lead Western Michigan University.
Dr. Edward B. Montgomery will become WMU’s ninth president on Aug. 1, the school announced Wednesday. Under a five-year contract, Montgomery will have an annual salary of $450,000 with a deferred compensation/retirement package worth an additional $50,000 per year.
Montgomery played key roles in the Clinton and Obama administrations. During President Obama’s term, Montgomery took on the informal title of auto czar, serving as a member of the auto task force and leading the White House Council for Auto Communities and Workers.
Montgomery previously served as chief economist, counselor, assistant secretary and deputy secretary to the U.S. Department of Labor under President Bill Clinton.
Montgomery said his wife, Kari is from Portland and she was anxious to come back to West Michigan. His son, Edward, is also a senior at WMU’s business college. He also has two other children – Lindsay and Elizabeth.
Montgomery has served at Georgetown University since 2010, according to WMU. He is currently dean and a professor of economics at Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy.
Montgomery also held faculty positions at Michigan State University, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Maryland.
He was unanimously chosen by the WMU Board of Trustees during a special meeting Wednesday, following a monthslong national search to replace longtime president Dr. John M. Dunn.
Dunn initially planned to retire on June 30, but will stay on as WMU president through July 31.