Obama names Robert Gibbs as press secretary

CHICAGO Sat Nov 22, 2008 6:30pm EST

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CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Barack Obama announced on Saturday that close aide Robert Gibbs would be White House press secretary and Ellen Moran of women's organization Emily's List would be director of communications.

Obama said Dan Pfeiffer, who heads the Obama transition team's communications office, would serve at the White House as deputy director of communications.

"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," Obama said in a statement.

Gibbs, an Obama adviser since 2004, served as communications director to Obama when he was a U.S. senator from Illinois.

He held the same role for the first part of Obama's presidential campaign before becoming a senior strategist during the general election. His appointment to White House press secretary was expected.

Moran is a newcomer to the Obama team. She is the executive director of Emily's List, an organization that works to elect women who favor abortion rights to political office. She previously worked for the AFL-CIO labor organization and for various political campaigns.

Pfeiffer is a veteran staffer for several senators and worked on former Vice President Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Peter Cooney)

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