Saturday, November 22, 2008

Obama names Robert Gibbs as White House press secretary

President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday named longtime spokesman Robert Gibbs as White House press secretary and reached outside his inner circle for the post of White House communications director.

The director of communications will be Ellen Moran, who is currently executive director of the Washington group EMILY's List. She will join a team of longtime close advisers who will work closely with Obama on a daily basis.

Her deputy in the White House will be Dan Pfeiffer, who is communications director for Obama's presidential transition team. He helped managed the press operation on the Obama campaign. Gibbs went to work for Obama's Senate campaign in 2004 and was communications director while Obama was in the Senate.

Moran will be in charge of getting Obama's message out. EMILY's, a group that backs female candidates who support abortion rights, was an active supporter of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton during the presidential primary. Moran also has worked for the AFL-CIO and has helped plan inaugurals for President Bill Clinton.

"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 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."

Gibbs, 37, was born in Auburn, where his parents, Robert and Nancy, worked for Auburn University. In 1989, he graduated from Auburn High School and headed to North Carolina State University to major in political science.

Gibbs worked for several Southern Democrats before heading to Chicago to work in Obama's U.S. Senate campaign in 2004.

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