As Barack Obama puts together his administration, more than 20 Harvard Law School classmates dot the ranks of his transition team — solidifying the Crimson connection as his most enduring, yet least-known, personal network.
By Carrie Budoff Brown
Eyeing the presidency as a freshman senator, Obama turned to his classmates first for their high-level contacts, and then to help raise campaign cash. Now, they’re putting their day jobs on the backburner to help their friend build a government.
“If you think about the progression of the president-elect’s national career, initially he didn’t have a national network of people who he could call on,” said Cassandra Butts, general counsel for the transition. “The Harvard group was helpful on that front — helping him make introductions on policy, political and financial fronts.”
Besides Butts, other top Harvard grads around Obama include Chris Lu, who will serve as Obama’s liaison with Cabinet departments; Tom Perrelli, who works on the Justice Department transition team; and Julius Genachowski and Michael Froman, who sit on the 12-member Transition Advisory Board.
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