USA/President Barack Obama picked Larry Persily, a former-aide-turned-critic of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, to be federal coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects.

In that position, Persily — who became one of Palin’s most vocal in-state critics — would oversee plans for a massive, long-desired Alaska natural gas pipeline.

Obama asked Drue Pearce, the Republican who held the job in the Bush administration, to leave the post last month.

Persily is a former Alaska journalist who has worked for both Democratic and Republican politicians. He worked for more than a decade on oil and gas issues for three Alaska governors, including Palin.

He resigned from her office before she was picked as John McCain’s running mate on the ticket that lost to Obama and Joe Biden. Since then, he has been quoted repeatedly criticizing Palin.