- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 22, 2009

President Obama is losing a member of his press shop just shy of his first 100 days in office.

Ellen Moran, White House communications director, will become chief of staff for Commerce Secretary Gary Locke.

Mr. Obama issued a statement through the press office commending her service thus far.

“I thank Ellen Moran for her leadership during these first critical months of my administration, and I am pleased she will serve as chief of staff at the Department of Commerce,” Mr. Obama said in the statement. “Her management and strategic skills will ensure that Secretary Locke, an important member of my economic team, gets off to a fast start.”

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Mr. Locke, the former governor of Washington state, has been in the post less than one month. He was Mr. Obama’s third nominee for Commerce after two previous nominees withdrew from consideration. The agency is understaffed.

Ms. Moran, who was rarely seen by White House reporters, was the only top press aide who did not work on the Obama for America campaign.

She had been executive director of Emily’s List and has worked for the Democratic National Committee, the AFL-CIO and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. She also worked on Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin’s 1992 presidential bid and helped plan two presidential inaugurations for Bill Clinton.

The Associated Press, which broke the news Tuesday, said Ms. Moran will make the jump in the next few weeks.

The White House said there would be no announcement Tuesday about her replacement.