November 16, 2008

Obama White House Staff

Updated December 1, 2008

Chief of Staff: Rahm Emanuel will serve as Obama's chief of staff, a position that is in charge of the White House operations. Emanuel steps down as an Illinois Congressman. He's considered very conservative on foreign affairs with particular note in ardent support of Israel.

Mona Sutphen will be deputy chief of staff under chief of staff is Rahm Emanuel. A member of Obama's transition team staff, Sutphen has been managing director of Stonebridge International, a strategic consulting firm based in Washington. Sutphen also was a foreign service officer and worked on the National Security Council in the Clinton White House.

Advisers and Assistants: Pete Rouse will be a senior adviser. Rouse was Obama's Senate chief of staff, a post he also held while working for former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.

Jim Messina will be another deputy chief of staff. He is now director of personnel for Obama's transition team and was national chief of staff during the presidential campaign.

Philip Schiliro will be assistant to the president for legislative affairs when the new administration takes over Jan. 20. Schoilior is a longtime Capitol Hill aide.

Valerie Jarrett Klain will be a senior adviser and assistant to Obama for intergovernmental relations. She is a longtime Obama friend and supporter.

Cecilia Muñoz will serve as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs. Muñoz currently serves as Senior Vice President for the Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), where she supervises all legislative and advocacy activities conducted by NCLR policy staff. Muñoz is the Chair of the Board of Center for Community Change, and serves on the U.S. Programs Board of the Open Society Institute and the Board of Directors of the Atlantic Philanthropies. [2]

Economic Policy:

Lawrence Summers will be Director of the National Economic Council (NEC), which serves as Assistant to the President for Economic Policy. Summers was Treasury Secretary under Bill Clinton and recently served as President of Harvard. Summers is controversial as leaning strongly toward free market fundamentalism, for making statements about women being fundamentally less capable than men and for having a conflict with African American professor Cornell West that contributed to West's departure from Harvard.

Communications: In addition to Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, several staff have been named.

Ellen Moran will be director of communications at the White House — in charge of getting Obama's message out. Considered an "outsider," she comes from being executive director of the EMILY's List — a Washington-based organization that backs female candidates who support abortion rights. She also has worked for the AFL-CIO.

Dan Pfeiffer will be deputy director of communications under Ellen Moran. He is communications director for Obama's presidential transition team. He helped managed the press operation on the Obama campaign.

Jonathan Favreau will serve as Director of Speechwriting. Jon Favreau served as Director of Speechwriting during the 2008 presidential campaign. He has worked for President-elect Obama since February 2005, when he joined Obama's United States Senate office as Speechwriter. Previously, Favreau served as Deputy Director of Speechwriting on John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign.[2]

Vice Presidential Staff:

Ron Klain will serve as the Vice President's chief of staff, the same position he held for Vice President Al Gore.


[1] Associated Press, Obama leaves Senate, names more White House aides, November 16, 2008.

[2] (Obama's President-elect Web Site) President-Elect Barack Obama names two new White House staff members.



libhom said...

There are too many Clinton retreads. Sigh.

GDAEman said...

Two of the worst are in the Obama Intelligence Transition Team: John Brennan and Jami Miscik.