President-elect Barack Obama names Lawrence Summers (left) director of National Economic Council.
"Obama Taps into Belfer Center Community for Key Policy Posts"
What Insights, Views Will Key Appointees Contribute to Policy?
Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Preventive Defense Project; Science, Technology, and Public Policy
"High office teaches decision making, not substance," Henry Kissinger once said. "It consumes intellectual capital; it does not create it. Most high officials leave office with the perceptions and insights with which they entered."
The Belfer Center is both proud and humbled that a number of its members have been asked to serve in the Obama Administration. The group's experience and expertise span many of the international challenges confronting the nation today.
John P. Holdren
Photo: Belfer Center
John P. Holdren (Director, Belfer Center Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program)
Now: Assistant to the President for Science and Technology; Director, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Co-chair, President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST)
"None of the great interlinked challenges of our time - the economy, energy, environment, health, security, and the particular vulnerabilities of the poor to shortfalls in all of these - can be solved without insights and advances from the physical sciences, the life sciences, and engineering."
-- John P. Holdren ("Harvard Kennedy School's John P. Holdren to be Named Obama's Science Advisor," Belfer Center press release, December 19, 2008)
When then President-elect Barack Obama named John Holdren as his science advisor, he said, "He [Holdren] has been one of the most passionate and persistent voices of our time about the growing threat of climate change."
Ashton B. Carter
Ashton B. Carter (Co-director, Harvard Belfer Center/Stanford Preventive Defense Project)
Now: Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics
"Strategic clarity--what kind of military does the United States need and why?--must make a return to the Pentagon after a period when ever-growing budgets and single-minded preoccupation with Iraq have caused it to fall out of practice."
--Ashton B. Carter ("Defense Strategy and Budget in the Post-Bush Era," Aspen Strategy Group paper, August 5, 2008)
In announcing the appointment of Ashton Carter with other key positions, President Obama said, "Together, I am confident that we will be able to tackle the challenges of our time."
Lawrence Summers (Member, Belfer Center Board of Directors)
Now: Director, National Economic Council
"In this crisis, doing too little poses a greater threat than doing too much. Any sound economic strategy in the current context must be directed at both creating the jobs that Americans need and doing the work that our economy requires."
--Lawrence Summers ("Obama's Down Payment," Washington Post, December 29, 2008)
President Obama said of Lawrence Summers, "[Summers'] thinking, writing and speaking have set the terms of the debate."
Photo: Belfer Center
Paul Volcker (Member, Belfer Center International Council)
Now: Chair, Economic Recovery Advisory Board
"'Keep [banks] small, so that any failure won't have systematic importance.'"
- Improve quality and effectiveness of prudential regulation and supervision
- Strengthen institutional policies and standards
- Increase transparency of financial markets and products
("Obama Adviser Urges More Rigorous Global Financial Regulation," Washington Post, January 16, 2009)
Paul Volcker, said President Obama, has a "deep understanding of financial markets, extensive experience managing economic crises, and keen insight into the global nature of this particular crisis."
Juliette Kayyem (left)
Photo: Martha Stewart
Juliette Kayyem (On leave from the Belfer Center Board of Directors)
Now: Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Intergovernmental Programs
"In the world of homeland security, 'dual use' of [of assets] means a lot -- in a time of fiscal crisis, things are getting cut left and right -- we have to prioritize."
-- Juliette Kayyem ("Kayyem conducts a responder revolution," Homeland Security Today, February 2009)
In announcing the appointment of Juliette Kayyem, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said, "One of my top priorities is to ensure there is strong communication and consultation with state, local, tribal and territorial governments. Juliette brings a tremendous amount of expertise to the table, having coordinated efforts amongst varying entities during her tenure in state government. Juliette will play a critical role in helping to improve and strengthen communications between all levels of government and in helping in the mission to create one Department of Homeland Security."
Center Members Head to Washington
Additional members of the Belfer Center community have been called on to serve in the Obama administration. They include the following persons (listed alphabetically).
Paul Anastas (Former Senior Associate, Belfer Center Environment and Natural Resources Program)
Now: Assistant Administrator for Research and Development, Environmental Protection Agency
Rand Beers (Faculty Affiliate, Belfer Center)
Now: Under Secretary of Homeland Security for National Protection and Programs
"Instead of listening to the nation's 16 intelligence agencies and refocusing resources to where they were most needed, the administration clung to Iraq as the central front in the fight against terrorism. As a result, the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan deteriorated further, with a resurgent al-Qaeda and resurrected Taliban now threatening both the region and American homeland itself."
-- Rand Beers ("Don't Need Faked Letter to Indict Bush Team," Philadelphia Inquirer, August 14, 2008)
Kurt Campbell (Former Belfer Center Assistant Director and Research Fellow)
Now: Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
"Japan...has been analyzed through the prism of the Iraq war; however, a majority of these analytic undertakings fail to decipher long-term structural changes that are taking place in Tokyo's policymaking apparatus." -- Kurt Campbell ("The Ripple effect: Japan's Responses to the Iraq War," CNAS, October 15, 2008)
Ivo Daalder (Former Research Fellow, Belfer Center International Security Program)
Now: Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
"Militarily and diplomatically, the United States needs regional and European partners to do their part. America should take the lead where it can play the most constructive role and support others when their roles are most promising."
-- Ivo Daalder and Anne-Marie Slaughter ("America's new global challenge," Boston Globe, July 24, 2008)
Martin Feldstein (Member, Belfer Center Board of Directors; former Chair, Council of Economic Advisers, Reagan Administration)
Now: Member, White House Economic Recovery Advisory Board
"Regardless of what is done to provide a fiscal stimulus, governments around the world must act to fix dysfunctional credit markets. Otherwise,
credit will not flow and growth will not resume. In the United States, reviving the credit markets requires stopping the mortgage defaults driven by negative equity."
-- Martin Feldstein ("The Case for Fiscal Stimulus in U.S.," Korea Herald, February 3, 2009)
Michèle Flournoy (Former Research Fellow, Belfer Center International Security Program)
Now: Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
"As supplemental war funding decreases and pressures on the defense budget increase, we must continue to fund the recovery and expansion of the Army, Marine Corps and Special Operations Forces."
-- Michèle Flournoy ("The State of the U.S. Ground Forces," Center for a New American Security Factsheet, August 25, 2008)
Laura Holgate (Former Staff Assistant, Belfer Center International Security Program)
Now: Senior Director for Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism and Threat Reduction, National Security Council
Bonnie Jenkins (Former Research Fellow, Belfer Center Project on Managing the Atom; International Security Program)
Now: Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs, Department of State
Patricia McLaughlin (Project Coordinator, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program)
Now: Confidential Assistant to John P. Holdren
"While I will miss the Belfer Center while we are on leave, I am greatly honored to be offered the opportunity to continue to work with John in his new position at the White House."
-- Patricia McLaughlin
James N. Miller, Jr. (Former Research Fellow, Belfer Center International Security Program)
Now: Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
"Looking forward to the next administration, it is too early to know, but not too early to hope, that a new President will ensure that "No More Iraqs" means policy based on pragmatism and professionalism, rather than ideology and wishful thinking." -- James N. Miller, Jr. ("No more Iraqs," American Security Project, December 5, 2007)
Michael Nacht (Former Assistant Director, Center for Science and International Affairs-now Belfer Center)
Now: Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Security Affairs
Daniel Poneman (Former Research Fellow, Belfer Center International Security Program)
Now: Deputy Secretary of Energy
"Our nation will be well-served by these fine individuals, who all bring dedication to our country and impressive expertise in their fields. I am confident that they will be effective advocates on behalf of the American people as we work to strengthen the economy, keep Americans safe at home and abroad, and make America work for our families. I look forward to working with them in the coming months and years." -- President Barack Obama said in announcing his nomination of Jenkins and Ponemon (April 14, 2009)
Samantha Power (Former Executive Diretor, Belfer Center Human Rights Initiative)
Now: Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs, National Security Council
"But in a nuclear world where the U.S. cannot stamp out all threats militarily, our leaders should begin a pragmatic debate about when, how and for what to engage rather than reduce America's options to a false choice between appeasement and war." -- Samantha Power ("Engage your enemies," Time, June 12, 2008)
Dennis Ross (Member, Belfer Center International Council)
Now: Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for the Central Region, National Security Council
"If history tells us anything, it is that forging an effective strategy toward Iran is no easy task. And, yet, it has probably never been more important." --Dennis Ross ("Diplomatic Strategies for Dealing with Iran," Chapter 2 in Iran: Assessing U.S. Strategic Options, Center for a New American Security, September 2008)
Paul de Sa (Former Research Fellow, Belfer Center Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program)
Now: Chief of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis, FCC
Gary Samore (Former Research Fellow, Belfer Center International Security Program)
Now: Coordinator for Arms Control and Weapons of Mass Destruction, Proliferation, and Terrorism, National Security Council
"[President Obama should] reassure the Asian countries and to warn the North Koreans that the U.S. is not going to fully normalize relations with North Korea... until it gives up its nuclear weapons." - Gary Samore ("Disarming, Delisting, and Dealing with North Korea: Next Steps," CFR, November 12, 2008)
Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall (Adviser and Founding Senior
Adviser, Belfer Center Preventive Defense Project)
Now: Senior Director for European Affairs, National Security Council
"Among European populations, there is a growing lack of enthusiasm for defense spending and far-flung military commitments. . . . Looking ahead, the next American administration will need to work overtime to achieve consensus on what this [NATO] alliance actually does and why NATO matters to its citizenry." -- Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall ("Is NATO Dead or Alive?" Huffington Post, April 1, 2008)
Moira Whelan (Former Director, Belfer Center Office of Communications and Outreach)
Now: Deputy Coordinator, Office of Gulf Coast Rebuilding, Department of Homeland Security
Faculty, Alumni Called on to Review U.S. Agencies
Following the election of Barack Obama and Joseph Biden in November 2009, a number of Belfer Center faculty, affiliates, and alumni were called on by the incoming president and vice-president to lead or serve on transition teams to review U.S. agencies. The reviews provided the president-elect, vice president-elect, and key advisors with information needed to make strategic policy, budgetary, and personnel decisions prior to the inauguration.
In addition to those below (listed alphabetically), Rand Beers led the Department of Homeland Security Review Team, Ivo Daalder served as co-lead of the National Security Council Review Team, Michèle Flournoy was deputy lead of the Department of Defense Review Team, Kurt Campbell, Ashton B. Carter, and Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall served as members of the Department of Defense Review Team, and Juliette Kayyem served as a member of the Department of Homeland Security Review Team.
John P. White (faculty Co-chair, Belfer Center Dubai Initiative)
Served as: Lead, Department of Defense Review Team
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