Transition Team Announces Key Appointments

Transition Team Announces Key Appointments

President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Biden Joe announced key White House appointments.

Valerie Jarrett will serve as senior adviser and assistant to the president for intergovernmental relations and public liaison. Phil Schiliro will serve as assistant to the president for legislative affairs. Ron Klain will be the chief of staff to the vice president.

“These individuals will be essential members of our team as we work to bring Republicans and Democrats together to strengthen our struggling economy and make Washington work for all Americans. I have the utmost confidence that their broad and diverse experience will serve my administration and the American people well in the challenging months,” said President-elect Barack Obama.

“Ron Klain has been a trusted advisor of mine for over 20 years,” said Biden. “He brings extraordinary judgment, a deep understanding of the important policy issues facing our nation, a wide range of experience in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, as well as a unique understanding of how the Vice President’s office works.”


Valerie B. Jarrett is the president and chief executive officer of the Habitat Co., a residential apartment and condominium development and management company. Jarrett also served for eight years in Chicago government. Prior to her government service, Jarrett practiced law with two private law firms.

Jarrett currently serves as a co-chair of the Obama-Biden transition team and as a director of USG Corp., Navigant Consulting Inc., and RREEF America II. She is chairman of the University of Chicago Medical Center board of trustees. She is also vice chairman of the University of Chicago board of trustees, the Chicago 2016 Olympic Committee, and Metropolis 2020.

Philip M. Schiliro is the director of Congressional relations for the transition team. He was a senior adviser to Obama’s presidential campaign. He has worked in the U.S. Congress for more than 25 years. Schiliro served as the chief of staff to Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and the House Oversight Committee and was the policy director for Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and staff director of the Senate Democratic Leadership committees.

Ronald A. Klain has served in all three branches of the federal government. Klain previously worked for Biden as chief counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Klain also served as staff director for the Senate Democratic Leadership Committees under Daschle. Klain was chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore for four years, served as chief of staff to Attorney General Janet Reno, and associate counsel to President Bill Clinton in charge of judicial selection.

Deborah Creighton Skinner is the editorial director at