Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Professors Positioned for Political Jobs

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Georgetown thought competing with the Ivies for professors was tough.Imagine trying to fend off the president of the United States.

Several of the university’s most prominent professors have figured prominently in the campaign of Senator Barack Obama. Should he emerge victorious this evening, a handful of them will be serious candidates to assume senior-level posts in the new administration.

Already at work is visiting law professor John Podesta (LAW ’76).

White House chief of staff under President Clinton, Podesta was tabbed by Obama to lead his transition team. Podesta’s primary task will be helping Obama to fill his cabinet.

Taking Podesta’s old White House job could be another Georgetown professor, former Senate majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), who serves as an affiliated professor in the Public Policy Institute. Daschle is a national co-chairman of Obama’s campaign. The former senator has been widely rumored among news reports to be in the mix for a Cabinet position.

Anthony Lake, a distinguished professor of diplomacy in the School of Foreign Service, served as national security adviser in the Clinton administration and is rumored to be in contention to return to that role. A foreign policy adviser to the Obama campaign since early 2007, Lake was featured in an April Time magazine article as Obama’s likely choice for secretary of state.

Lake told THE HOYA in March that this campaign has been unlike any other of which he has been a part.

“One of the most interesting things about this campaign, set apart from other campaigns, people never talk about what they would like to be. … It’s not a campaign-driven by ambition, it’s a campaign of belief,” he said.

Lake said in March that he would not be returning to public service.

“I have no ambition of returning to the government,” he said. “Or let me say it another way – I have no intention to leave Georgetown.”

Georgetown Law professor Dan Tarullo may be a candidate for U.S. Trade Representative in an Obama administration, according to the Congressional Quarterly. Tarullo worked in the Clinton administration as the president’s personal representative to the G-7/G-8 group of industrialized nations.

SFS Dean Robert Gallucci, previously employed by government agencies such as the United Nations and Department of State, said he serves as a senior adviser to Obama.

Gallucci said that he would be willing to serve in the Obama administration but would hope to do so in a way that aligned with his current work at Georgetown.

“I have responded to those associated with the campaign who have asked [in] that I would always try to be available to serve with special assignments – as I did during the second Clinton term – without leaving my position here at Georgetown,” Gallucci said in an e-mail.

Donna Brazile, an adjunct assistant professor in the women’s and gender studies program, served as campaign manager for Gore-Lieberman in 2000, becoming the first African American to lead a major presidential campaign. She currently serves as chair of the Democratic National Committee’s Voting Rights Institute. Michael Nelson, a visiting professor in the Communications, Culture and Technology Program, serves as a surrogate speaker and coordinator for the Obama campaign.

adeleine Albright, former U.S. secretary of state and a professor in the School of Foreign Service, serves as a top adviser in Obama’s working group on national security.

While potential advisers and Cabinet members for Obama drawn from Georgetown have been more discussed than those for McCain, the Republican side has been fishing in the Georgetown pool as well.

cCain has been said to be considering Georgetown Law Professor Viet Dinh for solicitor general and a Supreme Court justice.

This election would not be the first to demonstrate an intersection between Georgetown faculty and high-ranking government officials.

Like Gallucci, several faculty and administrators have served in an advisory capacity to the president. Albright was an SFS research professor before becoming the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under the Clinton administration in 1993 and then secretary of state in 1997. Dinh became the assistant attorney gteneral in 2001 after George W. Bush won the presidential election.

Nelson, who helps coordinate the Obama campaign, said he has been particularly impressed with Obama’s commitment to bringing great talent to his camp.

“He [Obama] attracted an incredible brain trust,” Nelson said. “If he gets elected, he’ll have more talent to choose from than any elected candidate in living memory. His advisers include two former heads of the [Federal Communications Commission], the CEO of Google .70 Nobel laureates, entrepreneurs and even academics like myself.”

Nelson also recounts that, for him, the most exciting part of the election has been witnessing a rare surge in enthusiasm for the political process – an enthusiasm he said he had not seen in the 30 years since the protests against the Vietnam War.

“I’ve had the chance to see this incredible enthusiasm, particularly on behalf of college students and the . [information technology] community,” Nelson said. “These are people who had written off politics – had thought it something to not be involved in. But they have mobilized and put their heart and soul into campaigning.”

Scott Fleming (SFS ’72), the associate vice president for federal relations, said that university professors’ involvement in the political process, ultimately deepens the culture of political engagement and public service at Georgetown.

“It adds to a sense of understanding of the political and government life of the nation, and it enriches political engagement on campus,” Fleming said. “Many students choose Georgetown because of that engagement.”

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