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Breaking: Obama Announces Transition Team

CHICAGO, Ill. — Barack Obama is presumably enjoying his first day as president-elect, but he also got right to work.

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After an hour at Regents Park this morning, Obama hunkered down in a building near his campaign headquarters in downtown Chicago. The plan is to spend five hours there, according to aide Jen Psaki. Obama will huddle with aides and also speak on a national conference call to thank his victorious organizers.

Obama also announced a transition team, organized as a 501(c)(4), and a new website, change.gov, to share the process with the public. John Podesta, Valerie Jarrett and Pete Rouse are running the effort, and they will draw on this advisory board:

Carol Browner, William Daley, Christopher Edley, Michael Froman, Julius Genachowski, Donald Gips, Gov. Janet Napolitano, Federico Peña, Susan Rice, Sonal Shah, Mark Gitenstein, and Ted Kaufman.

The transition team’s senior staff was also announced, featuring many key operatives from the Obama campaign:

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

When Obama entered the building today, he also took a moment to acknowledge the traveling reporters who spent a long night monitoring his evolution from candidate to president-elect.

“Hi guys — did you get much sleep?” he asked, according to a pool report. One photographer replied “not much,” and a Reuters reporter returned the question. “Not as much as I’d like,” Obama said, just before he entered the building.

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