Dianne Feinstein —The California senator proved with the Leon Panetta appointment that she’ll be a force as chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
Austan Goolsbee —The economic adviser for Barack Obama might have insight into where the economy is heading—or at least the country is hoping he does.
Nancy Killefer —President Obama’s new “chief performance officer” will be looking for efficiencies in government. Oxymoron? She hopes not.
Sanjay Gupta —The CNN doc turned government health adviser knows what he’s talking about.
Elaine Chao —President Bush’s longest-serving Cabinet member (and wife of wily GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell) might be willing to dish now that she’s out of office.
Jeremy Bird —The genius field organizer who helped Obama reinvent grassroots campaigning is the likely chief of Obama’s new permanent campaign apparatus.
Daryl Friedman —The Washington face of the Recording Academy, he’ll have some gossip from its signature February event: the Grammys.
Elizabeth Alexander —Obama’s choice for his inauguration poet? His friend the Yale African-American-studies professor.