Dean Christopher Edley, Jr. will help advise President-elect Barack Obama’s transition to the White House.
Edley joins about a dozen people on an advisory board that will work with the formal transition team.
Edley has been an unpaid adviser to the Obama campaign. The two men know each other from Harvard Law School, where Edley was one of Obama’s professors.
“I’ve done two tours of duty in the White House, and this is my third transition effort,” Edley told the Oakland Tribune. “My joyfulness about the election is tempered by a very deep appreciation of how extraordinarily difficult the President’s to-do list will be. The team has been working for a couple of months, but this will still be the most complex transition in our lifetime. The sleeves are already rolled up and the adrenaline is already at flood levels.”
The dean is a Washington veteran. He was assistant director of the White House domestic policy staff in the Carter administration, where his responsibilities included welfare reform, food stamps, child welfare, disability issues, and social security. He was a senior adviser for President Bill Clinton’s transition team, and later worked as associate director for economics and government at the White House Office of Management and Budget from 1993 to 1995. He also served as special counsel to the President and as a consultant to Clinton’s advisory board on race.
From 1999 to 2005, Edley served as a congressional appointee on the bipartisan U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. In 2001, he was a member of the Carter-Ford National Commission on Federal Election Reform.
Edley will remain dean while he assists the Obama team.