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Eye Opener: Obama and Brookings

By Ed O'Keefe

President Obama spoke Tuesday at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. (Mark Wilson/Bloomberg)

Eye Opener

Happy Thursday! Earlier this week when President Obama spoke at the Brookings Institution, the think tank's president Strobe Talbott noted that several of his former colleagues now work for the Obama administration.

Think tankers are Washington's ultimate revolving door class, so Talbott's statement should come as no surprise. But Intrigued as The Eye is with government facts and figures, he asked for a list of those former Brookings colleagues. Here's at least a partial listing:

Jeff Bader: Senior Director for Asian Affairs, National Security Council
Michael Barr: Assistant Secretary of Treasury for Financial Institutions
Dan Benjamin: State Department's Coordinator for Counter-Terrorism
Rebecca Blank: Undersecretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs
Jason Bordoff: Associate Director for Energy and Climate Change at the White House Council on Environmental Quality
Lael Brainard: Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs
Ivo Daalder: U.S. Ambassador to NATO
Lee Feinstein: U.S. Ambassador to Poland
Jason Furman: Deputy Director of the National Economic Council
Phil Gordon: Assistant Secretary of State for Europe & Eurasian Affairs
Vicki Huddleston: Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Africa
Mark Iwry: Senior Adviser, Treasury
Peter Orszag: Director, Office of Management and Budget
Carlos Pascual: U.S. Ambassador to Mexico
Susan Rice: U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
David Sandalow: Assistant Secretary of Energy for Policy and International Affairs
Jeremy Shapiro: Special adviser to the Assistant Secretary of State for Europe/Eurasia
James Steinberg: Deputy Secretary of State
Cass Sunstein: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
Tamara Cofman Wittes: Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs

Doug Elmendorf and Jeffrey Kling are also former Brookings staffers that now work for the Congressional Budget Office. Elmendorf is the agency's director.

Know of any others? Let us know!

Special thanks to Brookings' Adriana Pita for assembling the list. You can track all of Obama's nominees and top staffers with The Post's Head Count or WhoRunsGov.

More Obama Nominees Announced: On Wednesday the president tapped Patricia A. Hoffman to serve as the Energy Department's assistant secretary for electricity delivery and energy reliability; Mari Del Carmen Aponte to serve as U.S. ambassador to El Salvador; Donald E. Booth to serve as U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia; and Larry Persily to serve as federal coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects.

Cabinet and Staff News: Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. visits New York to discuss 9/11 trial security.

Staff shortages stymie effort to spend stimulus funds on energy: The Department of Energy's inspector general warned that staffing shortages and other internal weaknesses increased the risk of fraud and could delay the agency's efforts to spend about $37 billion in economic-stimulus funds.

Obama grants labor-management forums: He met a long-sought union goal when he issued an executive order creating labor-management forums within the government.

Agencies to justify not using cloud computing to OMB: The agency will require other agencies to develop an alternative analysis discussing how they could use cloud computing for all major technology projects for the fiscal 2012 budget.

TSA manual misstep leads to discipline: The department initiated unspecified actions against personnel involved in the bungled online posting this spring of a government document that revealed airport screening secrets.

DHS refining cyberattack response plan: The draft form of the National Cyber Incident Response Plan was completed last month.

SEC probes rating agencies' grading practices: Federal law enforcement officials said they are looking into whether the nation's credit-rating agencies broke the law in the years leading up to the financial crisis.

U.S. extends TARP until October 2010: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the financial sector has stabilized, but wants to spend in such areas as housing and small business.

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By Ed O'Keefe  | December 10, 2009; 6:20 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener, Revolving Door  
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