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Obama's domestic policy adviser leaving

From Jessica Yellin, CNN Chief White House Correspondent
updated 1:45 PM EDT, Thu October 20, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Melody Barnes says she will leave the White House at the end of the year
  • Obama cites Barnes' contributions to education reform and innovation
  • Barnes says she needs "to move out of a 24/7 work schedule,"

Washington (CNN) -- Melody Barnes, the domestic policy adviser to President Barack Obama, will leave the White House at the end of the year, she said Thursday.

"I plan to take some time off and enjoy my family," she said in a written statement. "I'll also be considering opportunities in the private sector, as well as ways to continue to work on the policy issues about which I care so deeply."

Obama, in a separate statement said he "will always be grateful that a woman of Melody's brilliance, creativity and heart led our domestic policy team during such a challenging time for our nation."

He said Barnes will leave "a lasting legacy, developing and implementing policies that have helped remake our education system, spurred innovation, and fostered opportunity and equality for millions of Americans."

Barnes, in her statement, said she has "enjoyed working closely with the private sector, as well as philanthropists and non-profit organizations, to build public-private partnerships that are providing solutions to our country's biggest challenges."

She said that over the past few months she had "reached the conclusion that I need to move out of a 24/7 work schedule and on to the next phase of my life." But she added, "I also look forward to devoting time to doing everything I can to ensure that President Obama is re-elected."

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