President Obama nominated Fannie Mae chief executive Herbert Allison Friday to be the Treasury Department's assistant secretary for financial stability, putting him in charge of the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Allison was installed at Fannie in September after it was placed in conservatorship by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. He has been credited with helping the government-sponsored enterprise adjust to its new role as a part of the housing recovery plan.

He faces even steeper hurdles as the head of Tarp. The post will require him to lead a program that has largely fallen out of favor with the public and could need additional funding from a skeptical Congress.

Before moving to Fannie, Allison was chairman and CEO of TIAA-CREF and held many posts at Merrill Lynch & Co.

The president also nominated William Wilkins to be an assistant general counsel at the Treasury. Wilkins has been a partner in the tax practice of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP since 1988.

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