Obama exploits academe to staff his White House

January 22, 2009

President Barack Obama's White House will have enough academics among its top appointees to teach a full curriculum.

President Obama, who attended Harvard Law School, taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago, while Joe Biden, the Vice-President, teaches the same subject at Widener University in Delaware.

Principal aides include former university presidents, deans and professors of law, economics, public policy, even physics (see below).

"Many of Obama's friends are drawn from the milieu in which he flourished as president of the Harvard Law Review," said Dan Markel, a professor of law at Florida State University who blogs about political matters at prawfsblawg.blogs.com. "Obama's one of them. So it's natural that the people he would gravitate to[wards] would be a little more academic than (George W.) Bush, who was hanging out on oil fields and in the Governor's office."

BELTWAY BOUND: SOME ACADEMICS HEADED FOR THE WEST WING

Robert Gates Secretary of Defence - former head, Texas A&M University

Dennis Blair Director of National Intelligence - professor of strategic leadership, Dickinson College and US Army War College

Lawrence Summers Chair of National Economic Council - former head, Harvard University

Elena Kagan Solicitor General - dean, Harvard Law School

Steven Chu Secretary of Energy - professor of physics, University of California, Berkeley and Nobel laureate

Leon Panetta CIA Director - distinguished scholar, California State; professor, Santa Clara University

Christina Romer Chair of Council of Economic Advisers - professor of economics, University of California, Berkeley

Dan Tarullo Federal Reserve Board - law professor, Georgetown University

Dawn Johnsen Head of Office of Legal Counsel - professor of law, Indiana University.

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