With hundreds of jobs to fill and only 10 weeks until Inauguration Day, Obama and his transition team confronts a formidable task. President-elect Barack Obama pivoted quickly to begin filling out his new administration on Wednesday, selecting hard-charging Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff. READ MORE
Who is Rahm Emanuel?
Rahm Emanuel, 48, is a leader in Congress committed to addressing the challenges facing families across the nation. Since taking the oath of office in 2003, he has been a strong, effective voice for Chicago in Congress.
At the beginning of his second term, Emanuel received an assignment to serve on the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees taxes, trade, Social Security, and Medicare issues. Additionally, Emanuel was appointed by then House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to serve as Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Under his leadership, the DCCC expanded the Democratic Party’s reach in every region of the country. Democrats gained 30 seats in the House and ushered in a new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives.
In January of 2007, the new majority elected Emanuel to serve as Democratic Caucus Chair, the 4th highest ranking Member of the House Democratic Leadership.
As Chair, Emanuel led the Democratic Caucus in fulfilling its campaign promise to pass legislation reflecting the values and priorities of the American people. In the first 100 legislative hours, Democrats passed sweeping ethics reform, strengthened our national security, increased minimum wage, expanded stem cell research, lowered the cost of prescription drugs, cut interest rates on student loans, and ended the subsidies for the oil industry.
Emanuel began his career with the consumer rights organization Illinois Public Action. He worked on Paul Simon’s 1984 election to the U.S. Senate and in 1989 served as a senior advisor and chief fundraiser for Richard M. Daley. Emanuel served as a senior advisor to President Bill Clinton. After leaving the White House, Emanuel returned to Chicago to serve as a managing director at a leading global investment bank.
Emanuel graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1981, and received a Master’s Degree in Speech and Communication from Northwestern University in 1985. He is a resident of Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood where he and his wife are raising three children. VIEW SOURCE
Defined: Whitehouse Chief of Staff
The White House Chief of Staff is the highest-ranking member of the Executive Office of the President of the United States and a senior aide to the President. The U.S. President's Chief of Staff is a very powerful position, sometimes dubbed "The Second-Most Powerful Man in Washington.
The duties of the White House Chief of Staff vary greatly from one administration to another. However, he/she is responsible for overseeing the actions of the White House staff, managing the President's schedule, and deciding who is allowed to meet with the President. Because of these duties, the Chief of Staff has at various times been dubbed "The Gatekeeper" and "The co-President. VIEW SOURCE