Later today, President-elect Barack Obama will announce that our friend and former colleague Melody Barnes will be named as Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. The Council “coordinates the domestic policy-making process in the White House and offers policy advice to the President.” In her new role, Melody will be working with allies such as incoming HHS Secretary Tom Daschle to bring about comprehensive health care reform. Her policy portfolio will include issues such as education, immigration, criminal justice, and other domestic issues. Melody was a former Executive Vice President for Policy at the Center for American Progress, and previously served as Senior Domestic Policy Advisor for the campaign and as co-chair of the Agency Review Working Group for the transition. We wish her the best of luck.
UPDATE: During his press conference today, President-elect Obama praised Barnes as “one of the most respected policy experts in America,” and said, “Melody’s brilliant legal mind and her long experience working to secure the liberties on which this nation was founded as well as to secure the opportunities for those who’ve been left behind make her a perfect fit for DPC director.” Watch it:
Mike Allen notes that “Barnes, a Richmond native, is one of the top African-Americans named to the new administration.”