Yellen taps Obama administration vets for key Treasury roles

Treasury Secretary-nominee Janet Yellen sits in a chair before the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (Carolyn Kaster, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

WASHINGTON – The Treasury Department announced Wednesday that Didem Nisanci will serve as Janet Yellen's chief of staff once Yellen is confirmed by the Senate.

Nisanci, who most recently served as global head of public policy at Bloomberg L.P., was previously the chief of staff for the Securities and Exchange Commission in the Obama-Biden administration.

Jason Leibenluft will serve as counselor to the Treasury secretary after having been a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. He worked during the Obama-Biden administration in a variety of roles, including deputy director of the National Economic Council.

Other staff picks, according to Treasury, include Calvin Mitchell as the assistant secretary for public affairs. Mitchell previously served in Treasury's public affairs office during the Obama-Biden administration and also served in various government communications roles at the State Department, the National Security Council and the White House press office.

Alfred I. Johnson, who served as a special assistant to the White House chief of staff in the Obama-Biden administration, will be a deputy chief of staff at Treasury, as will Julie Brinn Siegel, who previously served as senior counsel for economic policy for Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

Marti Adams, who had been at the global advisory firm Brunswick Group, will be Yellen's executive secretary, while Ryan Jacobs will be Yellen's chief speechwriter and a senior advisor. Jacobs had been with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where he was head speechwriter where he helped the foundation respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

Yellen, who is expected to win quick Senate confirmation, told the Senate Finance Committee at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday that the administration considered it essential for Congress to quickly pass another $1.9 trillion virus relief package.