The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has assigned 14 of his closest aides and members of his presidential expert staff to three working groups that will be in charge of different tasks, such as handling strategic communications and serving as his “discussion partners”.
Jokowi met with the expert staffers at the State Palace on Monday to brief them about their specific assignments, which are expected to help the President run his second and final term in office.
“We want the expert staff members to work effectively, so we were split into three groups,” said Ari Dwipayana, who has been appointed as the coordinator of the presidential expert staff.
The first group comprises presidential spokespersons assigned to bridge communication between the State Palace and the media on various issues related to Jokowi’s policies.
It comprises four members, each experts in their own fields linked to issues the Presidential office has to deal with daily, including politics, law, economics and social issues.
The second group of staffers is tasked with bridging communication between the President and strategic groups, but Ari did not provide further details on what is meant with “strategic”.
“Aside from being an expert staff member, Pak Anggit has also been appointed as the President’s personal secretary,” Ari said.
Three members of the second group, namely Sukardi, Diaz and Anggit, are not new to the State Palace as they have served as Jokowi’s expert staffers since the President’s first term in office.
Ari himself was among 11 academics who were recruited to Team-11, which was tasked with assessing potential vice presidential candidates to run with Jokowi during the 2014 election.
Read also: Understanding Jokowi's inner circle
Meanwhile, the seven new “millennial” expert staffers, whose appointments had made headlines last month, are set to serve as Jokowi’s “discussion partners” and are expected to provide innovative ideas for the President.
Ranging from 23 to 36 years of age, the seven members come from different fields, including education, entrepreneurship and activism.
“The President has also ordered us to work as a team and not to collaborate with people from within and outside the State Palace,” Ari said.
Jokowi previously said the young staff members would discuss various issues with him and provide him with “fresh and innovative ideas" for the country's development programs.
“They should also become the bridges between me and young santri [Islamic boarding school students] and young diaspora in many places across the world,” he said.