Senior Administration Official Leaves West Wing For Commerce

First reported by ABC's Jake Tapper, it seems that a senior administration official will be moving out of the West Wing. Ellen Moran, the White House communications director, will become the chief of staff at the Department of Commerce. 


A White House official confirmed the departure and said there would be no imminent announcement about her replacement.

 "I thank Ellen Moran for her leadership during these first critical months of my administration, and I am pleased she will serve as chief of staff at the Department of Commerce," President Obama said in a statement.  "Her management and strategic skills will ensure that Secretary Locke, an important member of my economic team, gets off to a fast start."

Selected during the transition, Moran, a veteran of Democratic politics with experience across several subject areas,  was relatively new to Obama's inner circle. Her deputy, Dan Pfeiffer, ran the communications shop for Obama's presidential campaign.  Pfeiffer would be first on the list of staff members to replace Moran. 

A friend of Moran's said that Moran asked for the new assignment, and that she and new Commerce Sec. Gary Locke know each other from Moran's previous work as a political consultant.  The friend said that Moran's departure was not due to any internal disputes, and that she kept her decision fairly quiet until recently.