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Barack Obama Names Communications Team

President Barack Obama over the weekend announced his picks for key members of his communications staff over the weekend.

Ellen Moran, who has been executive director of EMILY's List, will be director of communications. Moran's resume also includes stints at the AFL-CIO and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. EMILY's list works to elect pro-choice Democrats.

Robert Gibbs, who was communications director for the Obama campaign before being named a media strategist for the campaign, and was also communications director for Obama's 2004 Senate race, will be press secretary.

Dan Pfeiffer, who has been communications director for the transition team, has been named deputy director of communications.

What does the White House communications director do? While the press secretary focuses on the news of the day and the White House press corps, the communications director takes a "strategic, longer-term view and develops plans around the various policy initiatives and issues." That's according to Kevin Sullivan, former NBC exec and White House communications director, who outlined the difference to B&C back when he got the job last year.

Put in context of the most recent Democratic president, the West Wing's Josiah Bartlett, Moran has the Toby Zeigler job.

“These individuals will fill essential roles, and bring a breadth and depth of experience that can help our administration advance prosperity and security for the American people," said President-elect Obama of his new communications team. "This dedicated and impressive group of public servants includes longtime advisors and a talented new addition to our team, and together we will work to serve our country and meet the challenges of this defining moment in history.”