Naming Names

By Marjorie Censer / November 19, 2008 at 5:00 AM

President-elect Obama's transition team announced today that James Steinberg and Susan Rice will lead its national security policy working group.

“The focus of the Policy Working Groups will be to develop the priority policy proposals and plans from the Obama Campaign for action during the Obama-Biden Administration,” according to the announcement.

Steinberg, dean of the University of Texas at Austin's LBJ School of Public Affairs since 2006, served as deputy national security advisor to President Clinton from 1996 to 2000.

He also worked as vice president and director of foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution from 2001 to 2005 and recently co-authored with Kurt Campbell a book titled "Difficult Transitions: Foreign Policy Troubles at the Outset of Power."

Rice, who served as a senior foreign policy adviser to the Obama campaign, has been on leave from her post as a senior fellow in the Brookings Institution's foreign policy and global economy and development programs.

She is also part of the Obama-Biden Transition Project Advisory Board, the announcement adds.

Previously, Rice was assistant secretary of state for African affairs, from 1997 to 2001, and special assistant to the president and senior director for African affairs at the National Security Council.