Obama announced his economic team on Monday
and Melody Barnes, a sister and vetern of the Obama presidential campaign, was named head of the Domestic Policy Council. Matt Yglesias says: “The DPC is in charge of interagency coordination and policy formation for such topics as education, immigration, criminal justice, and health care — in short, domestic policy”. Who is she? Well, aside from being named one of Washington’s best dressed women, according to the Wikipedia, she:

was previously Executive Vice President for Policy at the Center for American Progress.[1] She served on the advisory board for president-elect Barack Obama‘s presidential transition team,[2]

She is a member of the New York State Bar Association and the District of Columbia Bar Association. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of The Constitution Project. She received her law degree from the University of Michigan and her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she graduated with honors in history.[4]

From 1995 to 2003 Barnes served as chief counsel to Senator Edward Kennedy on the Senate Judiciary Committee.[4]

She previously served as the Director of Legislative Affairs for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and as assistant counsel to the United States House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties..[4], where she worked with Congress to pass the Voting Rights Improvement Act of 1992.

Dig the normal middle class, classic black bourgie background. She’s one of us. She’s also an unapologetic progressive.

This was just released on Change.Gov. In this 2 minute message direct to you, girlfriend sure is blinking a lot but I don’t blame her — I’d be nervous too if I was taking all this on after finishing one of the hardest-fought elections in U.S. history. She’s got gumption. I like that she directly addresses “the failed economic philosophy” while talking about getting folks jobs & better healthcare while “greening the economy”. I dig her hope in the face of overwhelming challenges and her pragmatic approach.

Re: Desirée, I gotta crib from African American Political Pundit:

As reported by he Washington Post, Chicago Sun Times, and the Chicago Tribune, Desirée Rogers, a prominent Chicago businesswoman and Harvard MBA, will be named the first African American White House social secretary, sources in the presidential transition office said yesterday.

Rogers, 49, is a friend of Michelle and President-elect Barack Obama‘s, and a leader in Chicago corporate and civic circles; her appointment signals that the first couple consider the job crucial to how they introduce themselves to the country and the globe. She was a major fundraiser for Obama.

“This appointment sends a strong message that the Obamas want to use the White House strategically, to maximize its use in a way that is consistent with their philosophy — [to] open it to a broader range of people, ” said Valerie Jarrett, an Obama intimate and friend of Rogers’s who also will work in the White House. “Desirée is a heavy hitter — she comes with her own range of contacts from around the country. She’s close to Michelle and she knows everyone who will be working in the West Wing, so she will be able to create a synergy.” More HERE

Congratulations,  Desirée Rogers!

Co-sign on that. Rogers is as brainy as she is beautiful and the social scene in DC is obviously about to change. If there’s one thing you can’t say about Barack Obama — when you add up Michelle Obama, Valerie Jarrett, Barnes and Rogers — you can’t say he’s afraid of a strong black woman!

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