November 5th, 2008
06:20 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama transition team announced

Barack Obama and Joe Biden announced their transition team Wednesday.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden announced their transition team Wednesday.

(CNN) - Barack Obama and Joe Biden formally announced their transition team Wednesday, and named former Clinton chief of staff John Podesta, longtime Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett, and Pete Rouse, Obama's Senate chief of staff, to oversee the operation.

Full announcement after the jump

Chicago – For the past several months, a board of advisors has been informally planning for a possible presidential transition. Among the many projects undertaken by the transition board have been detailed analyses of previous transition efforts, policy statements made during the campaign, and the workings of federal government agencies, and priority positions that must be filled by the incoming administration.

With Barack Obama and Joe Biden's election, this planning process will be now be formally organized as the Obama-Biden Transition Project, a 501(c)(4) organization to ensure a smooth transition from one administration to the next. The work of this entity will be overseen by three co-chairs: John Podesta, Valerie Jarrett, and Pete Rouse.

The co-chairs will be assisted by an advisory board comprised of individuals with significant private and public sector experience: Carol Browner, William Daley, Christopher Edley, Michael Froman, Julius Genachowski, Donald Gips, Governor Janet Napolitano, Federico Peña, Susan Rice, Sonal Shah, Mark Gitenstein, and Ted Kaufman. Gitenstein and Kaufman will serve as co-chairs of Vice President-elect Biden's transition team.

Supervising the day-to-day activities of the transition will be:

Transition Senior Staff:

Chris Lu – Executive Director

Dan Pfeiffer – Communications Director

Stephanie Cutter – Chief Spokesperson

Cassandra Butts – General Counsel

Jim Messina – Personnel Director

Patrick Gaspard – Associate Personnel Director

Christine Varney – Personnel Counsel

Melody Barnes – Co-Director of Agency Review

Lisa Brown – Co-Director of Agency Review

Phil Schiliro – Director of Congressional Relations

Michael Strautmanis – Director of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs

Katy Kale – Director of Operations

Brad Kiley – Director of Operations

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (154 Responses)
  1. John Peachey

    I am disappointed at the intelligence level of the voters. As an employer I would hire the most qualified , obviously that doesnt and never has applied in politics. Shame on you all.

    November 5, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  2. Winston

    There are well from at least I can tell no Washington insiders on the team. This shows a new ERA and a fresh start. Obama will surround himself with a steller staff. They will be full of hope and promise and he is moving with delibert speed. Good luck to our new President!
    Plainfield, IL

    November 5, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  3. johnrj08

    Not all losers are losers. But, based on some comments here, some losers are.

    November 5, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  4. CO for Obama

    Yes, to all you Republicans who just can't take the fact that your party is in tatters, your leaders drove it into the ground, and you LOST LOST LOST LOST–get a life! Some of these comments have been incredibly ignorant. Educate yourselves and see if you can open your narrow minds to the reality of this country!!!

    Congratulations Obama/Biden!!!!

    November 5, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  5. DJW

    It is so wonderful to see OUR Country come together. This is no time for petty bigotry and cynicism; we have a country to fix. America has shocked the world. President Obama is a man of character and if those who doubt would just shed those old clothes of yester year and put on the new raiment of today, they will release that dark cloud that has hovered over their lives for decades. Americans have spoken and WE have made our choice and that choice is President Obama!

    November 5, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  6. AZ Man

    For those of you still angry about the election, remember you are now a minority. God Bless America.

    November 5, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  7. Janet

    For months I've been getting ridiculous "Wake up America" emails from – I would only guess by the content – right wing Republicans looking to smear any Democrat.

    Well I guess it was the Republicans who need "Wake Up" There is no future in insulting America's youth, as I was apalled to see Shep Smith do on Fox last night, mimicking them as a bunch of whiners who believe Yes We Can advertisement because their mommies have been telling them they can do anything since they were little – and what's wrong with that?

    Republicans do have good ideas, but if they wish to survive, then better stop playing to the right wing extremists and embrace the youth of America as the keepers of our future, and remember it is us in the middle who are truly up for grabs.

    Your neighbor who racks up dept til their over their head is not fiscally conservative – this is what both Bush and Reagan did. Are there really ANY fiscal conservatives out there??? Now a Democrat has to clean up the mess again and we are supposed to be afraid of too much spending? Get real.

    ...and yes I voted for Bush over Gore. And I liked John McCain prior to the campaign. He just turned me off when he started sounding so right wing and condescending.

    Thanks CNN for being the only station without bias in my humble opinion.

    November 5, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  8. Ted

    Congradulations to Mr. Obama. No disrepect to him or his achievement, but it is a sad thing that the best in our country do not run for national office. Since the democracts control the Executive, the Senate and the House, there is no reason not to correct things done that they said Bush did wrong. We will know in 6 – 8 months if the democrats really mean change or if they are just the same old liars as most in Washington appear to be.

    November 5, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |

    I for one felt like Obama Osama sounded a lot like Bob the Builder! Can we build it-YES WE CAN! I think he watched too much of that on tv, and he is not going to do us Americans a lick of good. He is not BLACK either people. He is no more African-American than he is white because he is mixed. How sad it is that people voted for him because he was perceived as being black! I personally am ready to move to another country for fear! I think he fed everyone a bunch of jibberish lies.

    November 5, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  10. Michele Del Conte

    Congratulations on your and America's victory. Please do not forget Bill Richardson when you are thinking of Washington Posts. A good man with foreign policy smarts.

    November 5, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  11. Chad

    Niki why does race always have to come up? All Americans are created equal. It is not the color of your skin that depicts you as a person, it is what you do with your life and what changes your mistakes inspire within yourself. I could care less if our President was Green as long he is 'Of the People, by the People and most importanly for the people'. Too many politicians forgot they are elected "FOR THE PEOPLE"

    November 5, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  12. Mike

    Hey Nathan,

    Your racism is showing. The country is moving beyond that.

    November 5, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  13. Change 08

    Day 1

    Why is he responsible for the stock market. It has been down for weeks and Thanks to BUSH. Seriously, he hasn't even started and you guys are attacking him. Not only did he have to put up with McCain/Palin attack during the election, he has to put up with you uneducated fools....Geez...give him a break. Let him do his JOB!

    November 5, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  14. IBIDS

    I would like to know if there are any Hispanics in that transition team.

    November 5, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  15. Jamie


    I was going to post a well thought out, intelligent response in the hopes of helping you realize that your hateful, narrow minded, bigoted rant is not going to do anything to aid in addressing the many issues that are currently facing the good ol' U.S of A, but the truth is, you're not worth the effort.

    Instead, I shall merely're an idiot.

    Also, the man's middle name is spelled "Hussein". If you want to use a man's middle name as an insult, you could at least spell it correctly.

    November 5, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  16. Amy

    Firstly, and foremost, I have tremendous joy and faith in where our country can finally go!

    To Nathen, My poor, confused boy... This election was NOT about race at all. It was about the disgusting job that was done by Bush. Look at the PATHETIC state of this country. It was about coming together and finally showing the WORLD we want change... our voices have been heard, finall. ALSO... "Look how far blacks have come in the past 80 years"... your joking with this statement, right? I know you can't be THAT ignorant... oh wait, you can't spell "about", so maybe you are?!?!

    Congrats to everyone who made this possible! I am finally proud to be an American again.
    ~Amy, New Hampshire

    November 5, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  17. Mike

    Cant wait to see my taxes go up now!!! The tax and spend machine is in full speed now. Sorry Sen. McCain that all of your significant contributions to America, such as your service in Vietnam and the anguish of being a POW were not appreciated at the poll.

    November 5, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  18. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    Rahm Emanuel is Obama's first step to the far left because the Congressman is definitely a far left partisan. Maybe Obama is showing his true ideology!

    November 5, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  19. THeGAME

    Good for Obama..
    I wish him luck in fixing the problems facing him..

    But, for hecks sake, you really show your ignorance when you blame Bush for the economy. To set the record straight, it was Clinton and the Democrat controlled congress that started the mess. The only blame on the republicans is that they didnt have the wavos rancheros to step up and tell the american people that they need to earn a living and be resonsible for them selves. They also allowed a hedging law to be repeald that was a major cause of the 1929 collaps. guilt by inaction.

    I agree that Obama is the better canidate available, but not the best that was in the running.

    That being said, I will support Obama and will do my part, but dont even try taking more of my hard earned income from me and give it away to the people who will not support themselves. I work for a living, and have no respect for those that dont.

    November 5, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  20. Joseph

    for those who say bad and insloting comments they should understand that the "united states" voted and we should hounor that choice we are needing change and the choice came throught that people wont him as our leader

    November 5, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  21. Red, Red WHINE!!

    ok, for those uninformed morons out there that say he was elected because of race.

    15% of the population is black, that's, uhh, well short of a majority.
    Of those blacks, if any dimwith would check, they will see that the black vote has gone for the democrats in the range of 90% of the time for as long as they have been allowed to vote. Further more, up until yesterday, last I recall, they always elected white presidents, so they have voted for plenty of white people.

    But hey, I'm white, what do I know? If I were to believe some of these nut jobs, I would probably know that the black man has always kept me down and infringed upon my right to vote in every election thus far. It's all the black mans fault right? yea, right, I think it's more accurate to say it's just the pathetic white trash blaming anybody and everybody for their own moronic failures. Go put on your hoods and have a party morons, it just so turns out, there are more of us then there are you.

    To the intelligent republicans who stand up and accept our new president, I embrace you in return and look forward to working with the rest of the nation in doing what must be done. Not for Obama, but for our children. Let's get ready to ROCK!

    November 5, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  22. IBIDS

    Are there any Hispanics in the transition team? Would REALLY like to know that. Hillary are you watching out for the Latinos who so backed you? I hope so. If not, who is??

    November 5, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  23. Ellette Hirschorn

    Congratulations on this historic victory. I have shed tears of joy all day long. I have complete confidence that your team will be dynamic and progressive. I look foward to better days ahead for our country.

    November 5, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  24. yes we can

    come on people.. stop bickering and look at this for what it is... a Historic moment for America .. a chance for us to finally show the world that we are committed to change the disaster that was the last 8 years..

    Obama is an inspiration to millions and i can say that I am proud that i was one of those millions that helped to elect him.

    For people like Day 1 ... stop spewing hate and ignorance... no one expects the country to be perfect immediately... its going to take years to dig us out of the whole that bush made so stop being so short sighted and try to embrace this magical moment of your history!

    November 5, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  25. Obama08!

    Of course Obama had to have a transition team in mind because he is starting from scratch. It would have been easy for McCain because he would have just said OK everybody stay where you are – OK I will start leading now – yeah it would have been a great new direction!

    November 5, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
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