President-elect Barack Obama selected two Princeton alumni for his White House staff on Wednesday afternoon. Lisa Brown 82 will serve as staff secretary, while Christopher Lu 88 will serve as cabinet secretary in the new administration.
Im honored by todays announcement, Lu said in an e-mail. I look forward to helping President Obama enact his proposals for moving the country forward.
As cabinet secretary, Lu will manage the White Houses relationship with other government agencies. His job especially pertains to communicating with and handling any problems that may arise between the White House and cabinet members.
Brown was legal counsel to Vice President Al Gore from 1999 until 2001 and was executive director of the American Constitution Society until joining the Obama transition team. She could not be reached for comment.
President Dwight Eisenhower created the staff secretary position to screen all foreign policy and military documents that come in to the president. Brown will be responsible for coordinating all forms of communication to and from the presidents office. She will also have considerable contact with top members of both the executive and legislative branches of government, including cabinet appointees and congressmen.
I am pleased to announce these new additions to our team, and Ill be relying on their broad and diverse experience in the months ahead as we work to strengthen our economy, reform Washington, and meet the great challenges of our time, Obama said in a statement.
Both Brown and Lu have worked with Obama as members of his transition project. Lu serves as executive director of the transition team and was previously Obamas Senate legislative director and policy adviser for his campaign. Brown is co-director of the agency review team, which is in charge of reviewing all areas of the current government to provide the next administrations appointees with the necessary information to implement new policy changes immediately.
Brown, who graduated magna cum laude, studied political economy while at the university. She attended law school at the University of Chicago.
Lu was a classmate of Obamas at Harvard Law School and has been working for him ever since he became a U.S. senator in 2005. Lu, a Wilson School major and former news editor for The Daily Princetonian, was a Prince trustee until last year, when he decided to take time off for the Obama campaign.
Mark Wenger 88, Lus Princeton roommate of three years, said that Lu has always been interested in a political career. Lus thesis adviser, former politics lecturer Tony Broh, said that Lu was a determined and methodical student.
ACS chairman Paul Smith told the blog of Legal Times that he anticipated the possibility of Brown leaving for the White House.
I was afraid this was going to happen, he said. Shes obviously a tremendous asset for any organization. Well get along without her. Our loss is the nations gain.