The White House announced tonight that former Harvard president Lawrence H. Summers, director of the National Economic Council, would step down from his position and return to the University at the end of the year, as has been rumored. Summers, who served as Harvard president from 2001 until his resignation in 2006, coordinated policies concerning the economic recovery, the restructuring of the automobile industry, and much of the reform of financial-industry regulation for President Barack Obama, J.D. ’91. Summers brought to those tasks his prior experience as Secretary of the Treasury under President Bill Clinton, and—following his departure from Massachusetts Hall, during his service as Eliot University Professor—broad engagement with financial institutions and Wall Street, including his role as a managing director of the D.E. Shaw hedge-fund firm. As Eliot University Professor—a position to which he is entitled to return under Harvard’s usual leave policies for outside service—Summers taught principally in the Harvard Kennedy School and the Harvard Business School.