One of Fannie Mae's top lobbyists, Arne L. Christenson, is leaving the giant mortgage company in February to head the Washington office of American Express.Mr. Christenson joined Fannie Mae five years ago after working for former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, R-Ga. He previously served as a legislative assistant to a Republican congressman and a Republican senator, both from Minnesota. Michele Davis, a former Treasury Department communications director, will assume Mr. Christenson's duties as director of regulatory policy. She also has Capitol Hill experience. The announcement of Mr. Christenson's departure comes on the eve of a major policy speech by Fannie Mae chairman and chief executive Franklin Raines. The Dec. 17 speech is expected to focus on legislative efforts to strengthen the regulation of Fannie Mae and other government-sponsored enterprises. Observers are wondering whether Mr. Raines is going to continue or soften Fannie's resistance to the major parts of the Bush administration's GSE reform proposals. The speech is supposed to remind people of the important role the GSEs play in the U.S. housing finance system, and what is at stake as Congress considers GSE reforms, a Fannie spokeswoman said. Fannie Mae can be found online at http://www.fanniemae.com.

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