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Obama’s New Chief of Staff Third GU Alumnus to Serve in Post

Jack Lew (L

Jack Lew (L'83) worked at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the State Department before being appointed as President Obama's new chief of staff last week.

January 18, 2012 – Jack Lew (L’83) is the third Georgetown law school alumnus to serve as a presidential chief of staff.

President Obama appointed Lew, who had been serving as the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), to the post last week.

“On behalf of everyone at Georgetown Law, I extend my warmest congratulations to Jack Lew,” said Dean William M. Treanor. “His long and distinguished career reflects our commitment to preparing Law Center graduates for service to the nation and the world.”

Spanning Administrations

Jim Jones (L’64) former Democratic congressman from Oklahoma and former U.S. ambassador to Mexico during the Clinton administration, was chief of staff to President Johnson from 1965 to 1969.

More recently, John Podesta (L’76) served as chief of staff to President Clinton from 1998 to 2001. Podesta teaches at Georgetown’s law school as a Distinguished Visitor from Practice.

And Lew has another Georgetown connection. His first successor as OMB director was Mitch Daniels (L’79), during President George W. Bush’s administration.  Daniels is now the governor of Indiana.

“Over the past year [Lew] has helped strengthen our economy and streamline the government at a time when we need to do everything we can to keep our recovery going,” Obama said in announcing the appointment. “Jack’s economic advice has been invaluable and he has my complete trust.”

Hall of Fame

Lew began his career in Washington in the 1970s. As a principal domestic policy adviser to Speaker of the House Thomas P. (Tip) O’Neill Jr., he served as assistant director and later executive director of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.

Lew was a special assistant to Clinton in 1993 and 1994. He left during the latter year to join OMB. He served as executive associate director, associate director for legislative affairs and deputy director before Clinton nominated him as director in 1998.

Remaining in that post through the remainder of Clinton’s second term, Obama nominated him to the position again in 2010. Before returning to OMB, Lew was the chief operating officer at the State Department while serving as the first deputy secretary of state for management and resources.

“If there was a Hall of Fame for budget directors," Obama in his announcement, “then Jack Lew surely would have earned a place for his service in that role under President Clinton, when he helped balance the federal budget after years of deficits.”

Related Information

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