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24.11.2008 US & Canada

Obama Economic Team Takes Shape

By Daily Guide
Obama Economic Team Takes Shape

Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, who lost out to New York Federal Reserve President Timothy Geithner for the Treasury post, is expected to be the top economic adviser in the Obama White House, according to two sources close to the transition.


Selection of the Obama economic team comes as President-elect Obama offers an outline of his economic recovery plan to create 2.5 million jobs by 2011. Obama, in the weekly Democratic address Saturday, said American workers will rebuild the nation's roads and bridges, modernize its schools and create more sources of alternative energy.

Summers, who served as Treasury secretary in the Clinton administration, will be named chief of the National Economic Council by President-elect Barack Obama at an event in Chicago, Illinois, on Monday, the sources said.

Geithner's nomination to be Treasury secretary, the top economic post in the Cabinet, will also be officially announced at Monday's event, the sources said.

The Obama transition team on Saturday announced several key appointments to his communications team.

Ellen Moran, the executive director of EMILY's List, will serve as Obama's communications director. Moran worked for the AFL-CIO, coordinating "Wal-Mart corporate accountability activities," before returning to EMILY's -- an organization dedicated to helping Democratic women get elected to office.

Robert Gibbs, an Obama campaign spokesman who also has acted as spokesman for the transition, will become Obama's press secretary -- one of the most highly visible roles in the administration.

Gibbs, an Auburn, Alabama, native who has worked for Sen. Fritz Hollings, the Democratic Senatorial Committee and Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign, was communications director, then a senior strategist, for the Obama campaign.

Dan Pfeiffer, current communications director with the transition team, will be Obama's deputy communications director. He began work with the Obama campaign in January 2007 as traveling press secretary before returning to Chicago to work as communications director.

"These individuals will fill essential roles, and bring a breadth and depth of experience that can help our administration advance prosperity and security for the American people,"

Obama said in a written statement. "This dedicated and impressive group of public servants includes longtime advisors and a talented new addition to our team, and together we will work to serve our country and meet the challenges of this defining moment in history."