Profiles of the team pt. 5


Dan Pfeiffer: Senior Political Advisor to the President


A low-profile aide to President Obama will soon be managing the public face of his Administration. Dan Pfeiffer was named the next White House communications director on Nov. 10, following the announcement that current communications chief Anita Dunn will step down by the end of the year. At 33, Pfeiffer has already worked for half-a-dozen prominent Democrats. He will be Obama’s third communications director, following Ellen Moran (now a Commerce Department official) and Dunn. Though not a familiar name or face, Pfeiffer has been an important presence in Obama’s inner circle since the early days of his presidential campaign.

Pfieffer Quotes:

“Shut up! He said what?”
— On hearing John McCain observe that “the fundamentals of the economy are strong” on Sept. 15, 2008 — the day Lehman Brothers collapsed. (New York Times, Nov. 16, 2008)

“We did not do ‘cocktail-party interviews.’ These are interviews that you agree to because you were always bumping into the reporter at cocktail parties, and they keep asking for the candidate’s time. We could laugh every time our opponents would do them.”
— Citing an advantage of headquartering the Obama campaign in Chicago rather than Washington. (New York Times, Dec. 17, 2008)



Soon after Inauguration Day, Dan Pfeiffer moved his blue blazers and Barneys ties from the back of the West Wing press area to more spacious digs across from the office of his predecessor and mentor David Plouffe.

“That is an awesome office,” Pfeiffer, now the president’s senior adviser, said as he gestured toward Plouffe’s old haunt on a recent afternoon. “It has windows.”

Pfeiffer may not inhabit Plouffe’s airy space, but he is expected to fill his expansive role. It is a big job for a 37-year-old who has spent his entire career as a communications operative, and whose breadth of experience is considerably narrower than that of predecessors whom Democrats revere as icons of Oval Office advice. But if Plouffe was the electoral engineer and David Axelrod before him the molder of President Obama’s message, Pfeiffer, who has outlasted nearly everyone else, is entrusted to safeguard the president’s image and legacy.



Samantha Power: US Ambassador to UN

President Obama appoints Susan Rice as national security adviser and Samantha Power as US Ambassador to the UN- DC


After it was announced earlier this year that Samantha Power was leaving President Obama’s National Security Council, I e-mailed her to ask if she would grant an exit interview. Within the half-hour, she sent her regrets. “I think I’m going to have to pass at this stage, not least because—after getting reacquainted with my children—I may return to the administration, though haven’t made any decisions at this point,” Power wrote. “Sorry not to be more availing. As a former journalist, I know I should be the type you can count on.”

 Now that Power has returned to the administration as (pending Senate confirmation) the U.N. ambassador, it’s her role as a former journalist that explains much of the excitement that has greeted her appointment in the press. Although America’s man (or woman) in Turtle Bay has often been an intellectual—from Arthur Goldberg to Daniel Patrick Moynihan to Jeane Kirkpatrick—we’ve never had an intellectual quite like Power, one whose dazzling first career was as a crusading, bearing-witness writer determined to make America live up to its ideals.


“From the day I met you and you told me that you had spent a chunk of your vacation reading a long, dark book on genocide,” Power said to the president, “I knew you were a different kind of leader, and I knew I wanted to work for you.”

In a sense, Power was bowing to the inevitable. That book, which won a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Critics Circle Award, is what first brought her to national attention, and it remains the single piece of work for which she is best known. “A Problem From Hell” argued for military intervention to prevent genocide in the Balkans and Rwanda, and it left Power caricatured as a modern-day Joan of Arc. A couple of years ago, the National Interest placed Power on its cover with a headline that screamed, in blood-red type: “Interventionista!”



Nicole Wong: Chief Privacy Officer



In March of last year, Nicole Wong, the deputy general counsel of Google, was notified that there had been a precipitous drop in activity on YouTube in Turkey, and that the press was reporting that the Turkish government was blocking access to YouTube for virtually all Turkish Internet users. Apparently unaware that Google owns YouTube, Turkish officials didn’t tell Google about the situation: a Turkish judge had ordered the nation’s telecom providers to block access to the site in response to videos that insulted the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, which is a crime under Turkish law. Wong scrambled to figure out which videos provoked the court order and made the first in a series of tense telephone calls to Google’s counsel in London and Turkey, as angry protesters gathered in Istanbul. Eventually, Wong and several colleagues concluded that the video that sparked the controversy was a parody news broadcast that declared, “Today’s news: Kamal Ataturk was gay!” The clip was posted by Greek football fans looking to taunt their Turkish rivals.

Wong and her colleagues asked the Turkish authorities to reconsider their decision, pointing out that the original offending video had already been voluntarily removed by YouTube users. But after the video was taken down, Turkish prosecutors objected to dozens of other YouTube videos that they claimed insulted either Ataturk or “Turkishness.” These clips ranged from Kurdish-militia recruitment videos and Kurdish morality plays to additional videos speculating about the sexual orientation of Ataturk, including one superimposing his image on characters from “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” “I remember one night, I was looking at 67 different Turkish videos at home,” Wong told me recently.


President Obama has picked Nicole Wong, Twitter’s legal director, to be the White House’s first chief privacy officer, CNET has learned.

Wong previously was a vice president and deputy general counsel at Google at its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters, where she managed a team of lawyers that worked with the company’s engineers to review products before they launched. The reviews included privacy, copyright, and removal requests, which earned her a nickname of “The Decider”

A person familiar with the situation told CNET that the new position will be a senior adviser to the chief technology officer, currently Todd Park, and will focus on Internet and privacy policy. Park succeeded Aneesh Chopra, who was the first to be appointed to that job and left in January 2012.


Gen. Kieth Alexander: NSA Director/Head of US Cyber-Command


General Keith B. Alexander, USA, is the Commander, U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) and Director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service (NSA/CSS), Fort George G. Meade, MD. As Commander, USCYBERCOM, he is responsible for planning, coordinating and conducting operations and defense of DoD computer networks as directed by USSTRATCOM. As the Director of NSA and Chief of CSS, he is responsible for a Department of Defense agency with national foreign intelligence, combat support, and U.S. national security information system protection responsibilities. NSA/CSS civilian and military personnel are stationed worldwide.


INSIDE FORT MEADE, Maryland, a top-secret city bustles. Tens of thousands of people move through more than 50 buildings—the city has its own post office, fire department, and police force. But as if designed by Kafka, it sits among a forest of trees, surrounded by electrified fences and heavily armed guards, protected by antitank barriers, monitored by sensitive motion detectors, and watched by rotating cameras. To block any telltale electromagnetic signals from escaping, the inner walls of the buildings are wrapped in protective copper shielding and the one-way windows are embedded with a fine copper mesh.

This is the undisputed domain of General Keith Alexander, a man few even in Washington would likely recognize. Never before has anyone in America’s intelligence sphere come close to his degree of power, the number of people under his command, the expanse of his rule, the length of his reign, or the depth of his secrecy. A four-star Army general, his authority extends across three domains: He is director of the world’s largest intelligence service, the National Security Agency; chief of the Central Security Service; and commander of the US Cyber Command.



Caroline Atkinson: Top Economic and National Security Adviser




President Barack Obama has selected Caroline Atkinson, a former spokeswoman at the International Monetary Fund, to serve as a top economic and national security adviser and be his representative at global economic summits, according to an administration official.

Atkinson, who is currently the senior Director for International Economics on the National Security Council staff, will replace Mike Froman, the president’s pick to be the next U.S. Trade Representative, once he’s confirmed to the post by the Senate, said the official, who asked not to be identified discussing the matter prior to an announcement.

The Finance Committee on June 11 unanimously sent Froman’s nomination to the full Senate, where a vote has yet to be scheduled.

“It’s very important for the U.S. to have someone like Caroline in this role,” said Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive officer of Pacific Investment Management Company, which manages the world’s biggest fixed-income fund.

“We are going through a major global realignment, economic interactions are changing, geopolitics is playing a much more important role, and multilateral institutions are not keeping up with the changes on the ground,” El-Erian, who has known Atkinson since 1983, said in an interview.

White House Bio


Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4

50 Responses to “Profiles of the team pt. 5”

  1. 1 vitaminlover
    June 22, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Goood morning!

    • 2 hopefruit2
      June 22, 2013 at 8:36 am

      G’morning TLP, Chips, TOD, lurkers, everyone, and congrats vitaminlover on #1 🙂 !!

      Thanks TLP for another excellent “profiles” edition of R &S!!! Some of these important individuals I wouldn’t even have known about otherwise 🙂

    • June 22, 2013 at 8:37 am

      Good Morning Vitaminlover! Congrats!!! 🙂

  2. June 22, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Good Saturday Morning Chipsticks, TODers…Everyone!!!

    LP, I appreciated the background information you are providing on individuals who make up the President’s team. Thanks for pulling this together and for adding an installment for this morning’s Rise and Shine.

    Everyone have a good day!

  3. June 22, 2013 at 8:38 am

    “Law Enforcement, Meet the Law”



    What do you get when you mix Missouri’s Republican-led Legislature with their Democratic Governor Jay Nixon…The answer is chaos.

    …it looks like law enforcement in the “Show Me” state may soon have some new criminals to apprehend. It’s the Feds. If the proposed law being debated there right now is passed and signed, here’s the scenario: A federal agent attempts to arrest someone for illegally selling a machine gun. Instead, the federal agent is arrested — charged in a state court with the crime of enforcing federal gun laws.

    The Missouri legislation is perhaps the most extreme example of a states’ rights movement that has been spreading across the nation. States are increasingly adopting laws that purport to nullify federal laws — setting up intentional legal conflicts, directing local police not to enforce federal laws and, in rare cases, even threatening criminal charges for federal agents who dare to do their jobs.

    The Supreme Court ruled in 1997 that local police could not be compelled to carry out provisions of a federal gun control law. But some states are now attempting to take that a step further by asserting that certain federal laws can’t even be enforced by federal authorities.

  4. 6 CEB
    June 22, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Good morning, TOD ohana.

    LP, I really like the profiles that you post. Even when it features someone with whom I am familiar, I still learn new things about the person. Segments like these are even more valuable for the many lurkers who may not be as aware.
    Have a great weekend everyone.

  5. 7 vcprezofan2
    June 22, 2013 at 8:46 am

    A very ‘Good Morning’ to you, LovelyPlains and thank you for getting us going today with your profiling series. I do appreciate seeing the brains behind the scenes from time to time. 😀 #FORWARD

    • 8 vcprezofan2
      June 22, 2013 at 8:58 am

      Also, thank you for including the link to previous profiles each time you add a new one. It’s nice to be able to flip backwards quickly to check who’s there.

  6. June 22, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Goood Morning…Ms Chipssss..LP….and TODville

    thank you LP….

    I do enjoy these profiles giving us a view of the people in PBOs administration..

  7. 10 vcprezofan2
    June 22, 2013 at 9:01 am

    BTW, if anybody hasn’t YET watched the ‘Senator Obama goes to Africa’ videos that Chips included in the ‘Africa 2013’ post, now would be a good down time to do so. In fact, if you don’t want to go backwards, you could google ‘Senator Obama goes to Africa’ and get all three segments.

  8. June 22, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Goooood moorrniinngggg, Chips and TODville!!

    LP, I LOVE these featured profiles. These people are endlessly fascinating!! Their brilliance is treasured and it’s great to see the human side of the administration.

  9. June 22, 2013 at 9:04 am

    “7-Eleven Stores Operated ‘Modern Day Plantation System,’ Feds Claim”



    The owners of 7-Eleven franchises in New York and Virginia created a “modern day plantation system” in which undocumented workers were furnished with stolen identities and forced to work 100 hours a week for a fraction of their wages, according to a federal authorities.

    “These defendants ruthlessly exploited their immigrant employees, stealing their wages and requiring them to live in unregulated boarding houses, in effect creating a modern day plantation system,” Lynch said.

    The federal probe has widened to 40 locations in seven states, including Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York.


    The owners of the 7-Eleven franchise stores allegedly forced undocumented workers to put in 100 hours a week for a fraction of legal wages, according to federal authorities. At minimum wage, plus time and a half for over 40 hours, these workers would have earned nearly $1000/week. Instead they got $200, or less. Now that really is slave wages.

    Other charges against the company include identity theft and concealing illegal immigrants. Court records said they not only employed illegal workers dating back to 2000, but also required them to pay to live in residences owned and controlled by the store owners. That’s the slave quarters.

    • 13 utaustinliberal
      June 22, 2013 at 9:15 am

      This is horrific and one more reason why we need a comprehensive and fair immigration system so that these situations don’t occur on such a massive scale.

  10. 14 amk for obama
    June 22, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Nice R&S on the team members. All seem educated and accomplished unlike the dumbya’s appts.

  11. June 22, 2013 at 9:05 am

    And in case you missed it, here’s an interesting profile of what happened to the team in the “cave” who built the data empire for ObamaBiden2012:

    Data You Can Believe In
    The Obama Campaign’s Digital Masterminds Cash In


  12. 16 amk for obama
    June 22, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Kinda stepped on blog tyrant’s toes, didn’tya? There’ll be hell to pay.

    • June 22, 2013 at 9:23 am

      😆 I think LP must have had it scheduled, don’t think he’s here. Nooooooo worries, I’m just relieved I didn’t click publish or we’d have had two R&Ss in two minutes! 😕

  13. 18 amk for obama
    June 22, 2013 at 9:09 am

  14. 19 forus50
    June 22, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Good morning everyone! I will enjoy reading these profiles today. Back in 2008 I had read quite a bit on Samantha Powers but am not that familiar with all the others so thank you Lovely Plains.

    I thought I heard that POTUS will be giving a climate change speech soon. None too soon as we are so screwed with changes happening that will be difficult to reverse.

  15. June 22, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Yikes, was just about to post Rise and Shine! Thanks a million LP, we’ll have to come up with a plan to avoid R&S x 2! Will post it a little later.

  16. June 22, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Hellooooooo again everyone, I’ll wait a little bit and then post R&S II which is fired up and ready to go! Thanks again LP, LOVE these profiles.

  17. 36 mtmarilyn
    June 22, 2013 at 9:35 am

    What a beautiful Saturday morning! I love these profiles. So great to know the team that is helping our President. Now off to Farmer’s Market. Have a great day everyone.

  18. 37 amk for obama
    June 22, 2013 at 9:38 am

  19. 38 amk for obama
    June 22, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Larry Sabato and the UVa Center of for Politics have released their prediction for the Virginia Governor’s race between current Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) and Terry McAuliffe (D)

    According the Sabato’s ‘Crystal Ball”: it’s a toss up.

    They say that voters are especially concerned about Cuccinelli’s stance on social issues and McAuliffe’s business problems.

    However, they say that controversial states by Republican candidate for Lt. Governor, Pastor E.W. Jackson probably won’t actually hurt Cuccinelli.

  20. June 22, 2013 at 9:46 am

  21. 42 amk for obama
    June 22, 2013 at 9:48 am

    The night sky is set to be illuminated later by what will appear to be a much bigger and brighter Moon.

    The so-called “supermoon” occurs when the Moon reaches its closest point to earth, known as a perigee full moon.

    The effect is to make the Moon seem 30% bigger and 14% brighter than when it is furthest from the planet.

    Skywatchers who miss the phenomenon this weekend because of cloudy skies will have to wait until August 2014 for the next one.


    so get your telescopes ready.

  22. 43 Layla
    June 22, 2013 at 9:50 am


    ( ( ( ( ( ( BOOM ) ) ) ) ) )
    GooD MoRnInG *
    HaVe a NiCe Day!

  23. 44 a4alice
    June 22, 2013 at 9:58 am

    wow – outstanding LP! I like your covers of people that we might not get to know about othewise – very interesting! 🙂

  24. June 22, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Good morning all. Good to see and know who has the president’s back.

  25. June 22, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Up and at ’em all you O’s!!!! It’s another great getting up day down by the old TOD stream. What great profiles, especially of those I wasn’t too familiar with. Talk about having PBO’s back. There couldn’t be a better team in place for anyone. Not to mention his supporters in the trenches. It’s good to see PBO staying the course, busy with all things presidential, nose to the grind, plowing along, just like he said he would. He seems to be the least bit interested in all the MSM manufactured bs. I like that in him.

    Now off I go to purchase and install the small detail accessory type stuff to complete the almost 8 month kitchen/bath rehabs. Lawd, to cook on an oven again, to wash dishes in a sink/dishwasher instead of the upstairs tub, and to have a place to eat on a table without the
    coffee pot/microwave/toaster/can opener in the way. #lightattheendofthetunnel

    • 48 vcprezofan2
      June 22, 2013 at 10:18 am

      Congrats, Cookem! I so understand your voice uplifted in joy! 😉

      At least you were smart enough to wait till they were done to get your ‘small detail accessory type stuff’! Not one for measuring, counting etc. I bought some of mine (ex: wooden drawer inlays, ‘pretty’ sink draining boards) at the early end and now they don’t fit, and being me, the bills are somewhere around. So far I’ve given my sister one of the 2 draining boards and my hairdresser, two of the drawer inlays. What can I say, I’m an awfully disorganised shopper, which is why I hate shopping. The idea was to buy them since I was ‘in the store’ and didn’t want to have to go back…plus I thought those stuff were all ‘standard’ sized. 🙄

  26. June 22, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Good morning all. Thanks LP for the interesting profiles and I so appreciate all your informative posts. Our President has a great group and I hope General Alexander’s replacement has our President’s values.

    • 50 HZ
      June 22, 2013 at 10:30 am

      GM, Chips, and TOD family. Thanks so much LP for all of these wonderful profiles. It is so wonderful to put a face to all of these important positions within the Administration. I always pray for wisdom for our President in surrounding himself with great people who will do their jobs and work for the peoples’ President. I am very grateful to read about all of these smart, gifted, and hardworking people who will do just that.

      TY so much LP. Beautiful to wake up to such intellectuals moving our nation FORWARD with our great President. We are blessed.

      Everyone, please have a great Sat., and do not forget to honor your space with goodness of heart, great conversation, lots of laughter, much prayer and meditation, great naps, lots of lovely music, great food(that may include a nice glass of wine also) good for our hearts as well; and hug your mates, your children if possible, and share a smile with your world. Enjoy your day, everyone. It is very hot out here, but it is beautiful to be alive and to enjoy all that comes with this great time in our history; sharing a space in time with POB.

      Be gentle to your spirit everyone. Lots of (((((((((())))))))))))))))) to GoBrooklyn this Sat. Love you, my beautiful Chips. TY so much.hz

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