Amherst Magazine

Obama’s People

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Zeke Emanuel ’79 (center)

By Emily Gold Boutilier

Zeke Emanuel ’79 is not the only Amherst alum in the Obama administration. In May, Jeanne Lambrew ’89 was named director of the Department of Health and Human Services’ new Office of Health Reform, where she is an important force in shaping reform. She previously worked at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and the Center for American Progress. Like Emanuel, she worked on health policy in the Clinton administration.

Harold Varmus ’61, M.D., president and CEO of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, is co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology. Varmus is a Nobel Prize winner and yet another veteran of the Clinton administration, having headed the National Institutes of Health from 1993 to 1999.

Leading up to April’s G-20 summit, Ted Truman ’63 served a six-week assignment as consultant on international affairs to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. Truman is an economist at the Peterson Institute of International Economics and has worked at Treasury before, during—you guessed it—the Clinton years, when Truman was assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department for international affairs from December 1998 to January 2001.

Matthew Flavin ’02, first a staff assistant on the National Security Council legal team, is now director of Veterans and Wounded Warrior Policy for the White House. He joined the U.S. Navy after 9/11 and completed combat deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, serving in intelligence and receiving a Bronze Star.

Bonnie Jenkins ’82 and Peter Rogoff ’82 each won Senate confirmation this spring, Jenkins as coordinator of threat reduction programs at the State Department, with the rank of ambassador, and Rogoff as head of the Federal Transit Administration. Jenkins worked at the Ford Foundation, as counsel to the 9/11 Commission and as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Naval Reserves. Rogoff came to the FTA from the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, where he was staff director.

Nicole Campbell ’00, vice president of Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, is one of 15 White House Fellows.

Valerie Jarrett P’07 didn’t earn an Amherst B.A., but the college did award her an honorary degree in 2007. She is senior adviser and assistant to the president for intergovernmental affairs, as well as public liaison

Jeffrey Bleich '83 has been nominated to serve as Australian ambassador. 

If you know of other alumni in the administration, please e-mail magazine@amherst.edu.