The White House announced today that Cassandra Q. Butts, a long-time friend of the president's who serves as his chief deputy in the White House Counsel's Office, will be leaving her post to become senior adviser to the Millennium Challenge Corporation.
The agency was chartered by Congress in 2004 to partner with third-world countries and promote sustainable growth and good government.
Butts served as Obama's general counsel for the presidential transition. She was among those he selected to plan the transition. A senior policy adviser during the campaign, Butts served as senior vice president for Domestic Policy at the Center for American Progress and spent seven years working for Rep. Richard Gephardt. Like several administration colleagues, including FCC chairman Julius Genachowski and Cabinet Secretary Christopher Lu, Butts graduated with Obama from Harvard Law School in 1991.
Butts's appointment took some of her new colleagues by surprise.
One MCC staff member Tweeted that she learned of the news from a Twitter post.