JoAnne Ginsberg, who has served Mayor Adrian M. Fenty for two years as director of policy and legislative affairs, will be leaving his employ early next year, LL has learned.

She is one of the highest-ranking mayoral aides to leave government service since Fenty took office in January 2006. Tene Dolphin, who had chief of staff, left to head up Department of Employment Services in the aftermath of the summer jobs fiasco, where she remains as a consultant; Neil Richardson, who had been deputy chief of staff, left almost a year ago, citing frustrations with Fenty’s governing style.

Ginsberg, among other duties, essentially serves as Fenty’s in-house lobbyist, maintaining relations with the D.C. Council and Capitol Hill and lining up Wilson Building votes on issues important to Hizzoner. It’s a high-intensity job, and Ginsberg has certainly had her work cut out for her of late—-for one, in getting Fenty’s attorney general pick, Peter Nickles, through a tough council vote last month.

Prior to joining the mayor’s office, Ginsberg—-the wife, incidentally, of noted attorney Benjamin Ginsberg—-was a longtime council staffer, most notably serving six years as chief of staff to former Ward 3 Councilmember Kathy Patterson. She later become a top council aide on education issues.

Mayoral spokesperson Mafara Hobson says there’s been no decisions made on a replacement. Ginsberg’s last day is Jan. 2.

Ginsberg took a moment away from tending to today’s legislative meeting to speak to LL. “It’s time,” she said, explaining her departure. “I’ve done this for two years. I feel a great mixture of a lot of emotions; I love working in the mayor’s office. It’s just time, so I’m resigning.”

She cites her early efforts to quickly push the mayor’s early educational reform legislation—-including the DCPS takeover—-through the council and the Hill as her crowning achievement.

Ginsberg says she’ll be taking some time off after her departure, though she says she’s always happy to take phone calls: “You know I love to talk!”