Barnes Leaving White House

Haraz N. Ghanbari / AP Photo

White House domestic policy adviser Melody Barnes speaks during the Atlantic Forum, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011, at the Newseum in Washington. The Atlantic, the Aspen Institute, and the Newseum presented the third Annual Washington Ideas Forum which drew together more than 60 policy makers, business leaders, and top journalists for a series of conversations and in-depth interviews about the direction of the country.

President Obama’s domestic-policy adviser Melody Barnes will be departing the White House at the end of the year, she announced Thursday. The announcement came as a surprise to her colleagues and could be a crucial loss going into Obama’s reelection campaign. Barnes served as the top domestic-policy adviser to Obama’s 2008 campaign as well. In the White House, she worked on issues such as health care, education, immigration, and nutrition. In a statement, she said she will be working in the private sector as well as dedicating more time to her family.