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Profiles: Obama's team so far



Since winning the US presidential election, Barack Obama has been assembling a team to help him govern.

Here are some key advisers and members of his White House staff:

NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: JAMES JONES

General James Jones is a former Marine commandant and supreme commander of US and Nato forces in Europe.

General James Jones

Gen Jones, 64, has been a critic of some of the Bush administration's war strategy, especially in Afghanistan.

The retired general is a decorated Vietnam veteran and is admired by both Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill.

He served as a special Middle East peace adviser for the Bush administration.

NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: LAWRENCE SUMMERS

Mr Obama's choice to head the National Economic Council, Lawrence Summers, held various positions in President Bill Clinton's administration, including treasury secretary.

Lawrence Summers

An ardent supporter of globalisation, Mr Summers is widely credited by financial markets with the policies that led to the strong performance of the US economy in the 1990s.

In 2008 he published a series of articles advocating stronger government intervention in the economy, arguing that traditional monetary policies were not capable of effectively fighting the current financial crisis.

Mr Summers was president of Harvard University from 2001 until he resigned in 2006. In 2005 he provoked a storm of protest by suggesting women had less "intrinsic aptitude" for science than men.

CHIEF OF STAFF: RAHM EMANUEL

Rahm Emanuel, a Chicago politician known for his combative style, was a White House adviser to Bill Clinton from 1992 to 1998.

Rahm Emanuel
He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2002, and as head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, he presided over the party's dramatic gains in the 2006 mid-term elections.

He is a close friend of fellow Chicagoan Barack Obama, but endorsed neither leading candidate in the Democratic primaries because of his close ties to the Clintons.

SENIOR ADVISER: DAVID AXELROD

As Mr Obama's chief strategist during his run for both the US Senate and the presidency, David Axelrod was always expected to follow the president-elect into the White House.

David Axelrod
He has spent most of his career in Chicago politics, first as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, then as a consultant.

Mr Axelrod acted as an adviser to Harold Washington - Chicago's first African-American mayor.

Mr Obama met Mr Axelrod back in 1992, when the future president was five years away from even winning public office in Illinois.

SENIOR ADVISER: VALERIE JARRETT

Like David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel, Valerie Jarrett is a close friend of Mr Obama and a member of Chicago's political elite.

Valerie Jarrett

She worked for Chicago Mayor Harold Washington in the 1980s and for his successor Richard Daley. In 1991, while working for Daley, she hired Mr Obama's then-fiancee Michelle Robinson to work for her.

As co-chair (with John Podesta) of Mr Obama's transition team, Ms Jarrett will mould the future shape of the Obama administration.

Her full title is Senior Adviser to the President for Intergovernmental Relations and Public Liaison.

TRANSITION CO-CHAIR: JOHN PODESTA

As Chief of Staff to Bill Clinton from 1998 to 2001, John Podesta has plenty of White House experience to offer Mr Obama, as he helps lead the president-elect's transition team.

John Podesta
Two years after leaving the Clinton White House he founded the centre-left think tank, the Centre for American Progress (CAP). He has declared his intention to remain at CAP once the transition is complete and will not join the administration.

He backed Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries.

Earlier this year he wrote a book - The Power of Progress - in which he outlined the key priorities he felt a new Democratic president should pursue.

SENIOR ADVISER: PETE ROUSE

Pete Rouse, 61, served in Mr Obama's Senate office as chief of staff.

He had previously worked for Senator Tom Daschle, when Mr Daschle was the Democratic Senator Majority Leader, during which time he was known to many as "the 101st Senator".

As senior adviser to the president in the Obama White House - he will be instrumental in the new president's attempts to push his policy platform through Congress.

He is also - alongside Valerie Jarrett and John Podesta - one of the three chairs of Mr Obama's transition team.

PRESS SECRETARY: ROBERT GIBBS

Robert Gibbs
Robert Gibbs, as Communications Director for the Obama campaign, has long been the president-elect's public face.

He was Mr Obama's press secretary as senator, and criss-crossed the country at his side, during the long presidential campaign.

A southerner, Mr Gibbs also served as press secretary for John Kerry's 2004 presidential bid.

WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: GREG CRAIG

Greg Craig
A long-time friend of both Bill and Hillary Clinton, Greg Craig led President Clinton's defence team during his impeachment hearings. But he endorsed Barack Obama early in the Democratic primaries, and has now been picked as the new president's top lawyer.

He helped prepare Mr Obama for the presidential debates by acting the part of John McCain.

He has served as a foreign policy adviser to Senator Edward Kennedy and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: PHIL SCHILIRO

President-elect Obama will need to work constructively with Congress if he wants to get his legislative agenda through, and the appointments of Rahm Emanuel and Pete Rouse show that he is taking his relationship with Congress very seriously.

Appointing Phil Schiliro as Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs is another sign that Mr Obama means business.

Mr Schiliro - who will head up Mr Obama's attempts to push legislation through Congress - served as Chief of Staff to senior congressman Henry Waxman for many years, as well as working for the Democratic leadership in the Senate.

VICE-PRESIDENT'S CHIEF OF STAFF: RON KLAIN

Ron Klain has plenty of experience for the role he has been picked for - he served as Chief of Staff to Al Gore when he was Bill Clinton's vice-president.

Mr Klain came to prominence in 2000 when he led Mr Gore's team in Florida, fighting for votes to be recounted. He was played by Kevin Spacey in a recent TV film about the Florida events, "Recount".

Since then he has been working in private legal practice, though he helped prepare both John Kerry and Barack Obama for their televised presidential debates.



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