- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 13, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama, continuing to draw from the large pool of former Clinton administration officials to staff his transition into office, announced Wednesday his delegates to a global economic summit this weekend and the leaders of a comprehensive review of the Bush administration.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and former Republican Rep. Jim Leach, of Iowa, will represent Mr. Obama during the summit in Washington. They will be available for meetings with heads of state or their representatives on the sidelines of the economic summit Saturday.

Neither Obama representative will attend the summit, and their meetings will take place off-site, an Obama official said.

The Obama transition office also announced the leaders of its agency review team, which will examine the inner workings of more than 100 government offices and advise Mr. Obama on what he should change or continue.

Though the agency review team did not include current lobbyists, adhering to Mr. Obama’s promise to keep monied influence out of his administration, a handful of persons named to the task force have lobbied in the past, according to a U.S. Senate database.

Melody Barnes, one of three agency review leaders, lobbied in 2003 for the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, in 2004 for the American Constitution Society, and in 1995 for the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Thomas Donilon, who will help oversee the transition at the State Department, represented mortgage giant Fannie Mae from 1999 to 2005.

David J. Hayes, a member of the working group, was listed 25 times from 2001 to 2006 as having represented several different companies. Sally Katzen, another working group member, lobbied Congress on “Medicare coverage and reimbursement issues” in 2007, for Amgen Inc., a biotech firm.

The agency review will be led by Miss Barnes, a senior domestic policy adviser to the Obama campaign who had worked for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat; Lisa Brown, executive director of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy and a one-time legal adviser to former Vice President Al Gore; and Don Gips, who worked under Mr. Gore at the White House as his chief domestic policy adviser.

The teams will begin work this week, the Obama transition office said, and will “provide the president-elect, vice president-elect and key advisers with information needed to make strategic policy, budgetary and personnel decisions prior to the inauguration.”

They also will “ensure that senior appointees have the information necessary to complete the confirmation process, lead their departments, and begin implementing signature policy initiatives immediately after they are sworn in,” the transition office said.

Mr. Obama was in Chicago on Wednesday and had no public appearances. After his morning workout, he spent much of the day at his hometown transition offices.

It was also announced that Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his wife Jill on Thursday will visit Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife Lynne at the Naval Observatory in Washington, the vice president’s residence.

In addition to announcing the agency review co-chairmen, the Obama transition office released a slew of names of those who will take part in their examination of the Bush administration over the next nine weeks.

In particular, the office announced the two-person teams that will oversee the transition into the Defense Department, State Department and Treasury Department.

At the Pentagon, Michelle Flournoy, a former high-ranking Pentagon official under President Clinton who helped start a new think tank in Washington last year, and John P. White, a deputy secretary of defense under Mr. Clinton, will manage the review.

Mr. Donilon and Wendy Sherman will oversee the State Department transition. Mr. Donilon is a former assistant secretary of state under Mr. Clinton, and Miss Sherman was a close adviser to Ms. Albright during her time as secretary of state.

At Treasury, investment banker Josh Gotbaum, who worked at the Pentagon, Treasury and White House budget office for Mr. Clinton, and Michael Warren, a former executive director of the White House National Economic Council, are in charge of the transition.

The Obama team also announced a 10-person agency review working group, which they said “will manage and review the teams’ work and coordinate with other transition teams, including those handling personnel, policy and the budget.”

Obama transition leader John Podesta, a former White House chief of staff under Mr. Clinton, said review team members “will be in the agencies as early as [Monday].”

Jim McElhatton and Christina Bellantoni contributed to this report.

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