- Associated Press - Thursday, July 8, 2010

NEW YORK (AP) - President Barack Obama’s former publisher has a new job as a literary agent.

Abrams Artists Agency said Thursday that Steve Ross is joining the agency, effective Monday. Ross in 2006 released Obama’s “The Audacity of Hope” while a publisher in the Crown division of Random House, Inc. Abrams represents a wide range of directors, writers and performers, including Judith Ivey and Hal Holbrook, and hopes to take on more authors as clients.

“We had been contemplating a serious move into book and author representation, and Steve’s track record and understanding of the swiftly changing dynamics of the book industry make him an ideal fit,” Abrams founder and CEO Harry Abrams said in a statement.

Besides Obama, Ross has worked with a variety of celebrities, athletes and commentators, including Derek Jeter, Russell Brand and Arianna Huffington.

His most recent publishing position was as head of the Collins division of HarperCollins. Collins was disbanded in 2009 during a wave of company layoffs.

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