WASHINGTON, D.C.—President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday named Ellen Moran, the current executive director of the Washington group Emily’s List, an active supporter of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton during the Democratic presidential primary, as White House communications director. He also named longtime spokesman Robert Gibbs as White House press secretary, a move that had been anticipated and was reported last week.
Moran's deputy in the White House will be Dan Pfeiffer, currently the communications director for Obama's presidential transition team.
"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," said Obama said in a statement. "This dedicated and impressive group of public servants includes longtime advisers 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."
In her role as head of Emily's List, which supports female candidates who back abortion rights, Moran had told reporters that Obama would have to work hard to win over women who had supported Clinton during the primary, but was also critical of GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin over her positions on women’s issues, including abortion.
Moran has also worked for the AFL-CIO, coordinating the labor movement’s monitoring of Wal-Mart Stores and was involved in planning both inaugural celebrations for President Bill Clinton. She has also managed campaigns for governor, the U.S. Senate and House and worked on the national campaign staff of Tom Harkin's 1992 presidential campaign.
Pfeiffer helped manage the press operation on the Obama campaign. Prior to that, he worked as communications director for Sen. Evan Bayh and deputy campaign manager for Sen. Tom Daschle.