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Obama economic aide Farrell stepping down

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Monday that Diana Farrell would step down as a deputy director of President Barack Obama's National Economic Council, marking the latest Obama administration staff departure.

Farrell, who will leave within weeks, works alongside council Director Larry Summers, who has already announced his intention to return to Harvard University at the end of 2010.

"I am grateful to Diana for her service to the nation during extraordinary economic times," Summers said in a statement.

The White House is selecting a replacement to run the council, which provides economic advice to the president and helps shape policy. It said it has identified a number of good candidates, including investment banker Roger Altman.

Staff turnover had been expected to rise as the Obama administration approached its third year, with people heading back to often better paid positions in the private sector after 24 months at the White House.

(Reporting by Alister Bull; Editing by Chris Wilson)

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