Ben Bernanke, whose four-year term as the head of the U.S. central bank ends on January 31, will be nominated for a second term, a senior Obama administration official said on Monday.

* Bernanke, 55, was named by Republican President George W. Bush to succeed Alan Greenspan as chairman of the Federal Reserve in 2006. President Barack Obama, a Democrat, plans to renominate him on Tuesday, the official said.

* Bernanke, who has to be reconfirmed by the Senate, had taken unusual high-profile steps for a Fed chief of late, appearing in a profile on a popular U.S. newsmagazine program, CBS's 60 Minutes and at a town-hall meeting in Kansas City, Missouri.

* Before his appointment as chairman of the Federal Reserve on February 1, 2006, he was chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, from June 2005 to January 2006.

* Bernanke had been a Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton from 1985 to 2002. He taught also at Stanford University, New York University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

* Bernanke was born in December 1953 in Augusta, Georgia, and grew up in Dillon, South Carolina. He received a B.A. in economics in 1975 from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in economics in 1979 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

* Bernanke has mapped out his exit strategy to pull the economy back from exceptionally low interest rates and extricate the Fed from a flood of loans to financial markets without sparking unwanted inflation.

* Signs that the U.S. economic recovery is on track may have made it easier for Obama to decide to reappoint Bernanke, whose role in the run-up to the credit crisis might have been a political liability for the president.

* Financial markets have given Bernanke high marks on the job and his reappointment had been widely forecast, though a White House announcement had not been expected until later this year.

* Many investors had signaled they would prefer Bernanke to get a new four-year term after his first one expires on January 31, 2010 and they would like Obama to lay to rest any uncertainty about the renomination without delay.