Stephen Barr, who authored The Federal Diary column for several years, this week joins the Labor Department as a top public affairs official.

Barr will serve as senior managing director of the Office of Public Affairs, making him the most senior career official in the office, according to Labor Department spokesman Carl Fillichio.

The move makes Barr a member of the Senior Executive Service, a corp of senior federal employees that Barr covered from 2000 to 2008 as author of the Diary, a column widely-read by federal employees nationwide that remains one of the longest-running features of the Post (and is now authored by colleague Joe Davidson).

Barr retired from the Post in 2008 and joined the Legal Services Corporation as its communications director. He joined the Post in 1979 and served as a reporter, Federal Page editor, congressional editor and a staff writer covering the federal bureaucracy.

Barr becomes one of dozens of former journalists — and former Post reporters, columnists and editors — hired in recent years by the Obama administration to fill speechwriter and spokesperson roles.

Follow Ed O’Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost

Further reading:

Republicans call Obama’s budget a reelection plan, ‘gimmick’

Obama budget: National debt will be $1 trillion higher in a decade than forecast

For more, visit PostPolitics and The Fed Page.