President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris brought on many alumni to advise their transition team.
The alumni join hundreds of experts selected to advise the incoming administration as they prepare to lead the federal government beginning Jan. 20. The agency review teams also include multiple faculty, who serve as volunteers.
“These teams are composed of highly experienced and talented professionals with deep backgrounds in crucial policy areas across the federal government,” the transition website states. “The teams have been crafted to ensure they not only reflect the values and priorities of the incoming administration but reflect the diversity of perspectives crucial for addressing America’s most urgent and complex challenges.”
Multiple alumni declined to comment on their operations for the administration as they were not permitted by the campaign to speak to the media.
The alumni include:
Jeff Marootian, the director of the District Department of Transportation, received a Bachelor of Arts in human services from GW in 2001 and also received a master’s degree in public administration from GW in 2003. Marootian is serving as a volunteer on the U.S. Department of Transportation Team.
Andrew Nacin, a director of engineering at the charity the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, is working as a volunteer on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security transition team.
Kei Koizumi, previously a senior adviser in science policy at the American Association for the Advancement of Science and now a freelance consultant, received a master’s degree in international science and technology policy from GW in 1995. Koizumi is serving as a volunteer on the Arts and Humanities team.
Natalie Kates – the director of new products at Alloy, a nonprofit that gathers data for progressive groups – graduated with a bachelor’s degree in American studies with honors. Kates is working as a volunteer on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services transition team.
Nancy Potok, a freelance evidence-based policy advocate and adjunct professor at the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, graduated with a doctorate in public policy and administration in 2009. Potok is serving as a volunteer for the U.S. Department of Commerce transition team.
Todd Tucker, a director of governance studies at the GW Roosevelt Institute, received a Bachelor of Arts in international affairs from GW in 2001. Tucker is a volunteer working for the USDOC team.
Susanna Blume, a senior fellow and director of the defense program for the think tank the Center for a New American Security, graduated from GW Law in 2010. Blume is a volunteer working for the U.S. Department of Defense transition team.
Bhavya Lal – a former research staff member at the Science and Technology Policy Institute, a federally funded research and development center – received a doctorate in public policy and public administration from GW. Lal is a volunteer working for the DOD transition team.
Frank Mora, a professor of politics and international relations at Florida International University and the deputy assistant secretary of defense for the western hemisphere from 2009 to 2013, received a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from GW in 1986. Mora is a volunteer working for the DOD transition team.
Peggy McLeod – the deputy vice president of education and workforce development programs at UnidosUS, a research and advocacy group for Hispanic communities – earned her doctorate in bilingual special education leadership from GW. McLeod is a volunteer working for the U.S. Department of Education transition team.
Shital Shah, the manager of philanthropic engagement and partnerships at the American Federation of Teachers, received bachelor’s degrees in religion and environmental studies from GW in 1999. Shah is a volunteer working for the ED transition team.
Lisa Barclay, a lawyer and former chief of staff at the Food and Drug Administration, received a Bachelor of Arts in English from GW. Barclay is a volunteer working for the HHS transition team.
Luciana Borio, the vice president for technical staff at the nonprofit venture firm In-Q-Tel and the former director for medical and biodefense preparedness policy at the National Security Council, received a doctorate in medicine from GW in 1996. Borio is a volunteer working for the HHS transition team.
Ken Choe, a former deputy general counsel and counselor to the Office of Health Reform at the Department of Health and Human Services, received a Juris Doctor from GW in 1995. Choe is a volunteer working for the HHS transition team.
Anna Gomez, a lawyer and former deputy assistant secretary for communications and information for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration at USDOC, received a Juris Doctor from GW in 1992. Gomez is a volunteer working for the commerce department’s transition team.
Tara Guelig – the director of sustainability and impact at The Lightsmith Group, a global investment organization focused on sustainable principles – received a master’s degree in international development studies from GW in 2005. Guelig is a volunteer working for the International Development transition team.
Cameron Alford, the senior counsel for international banking at U.S. Bank, received a Juris Doctor from GW in 2001. Alford is a volunteer working for the International Development transition team.
This article appeared in the December 3, 2020 issue of the Hatchet.