Georgetown faculty feature prominently in Biden transition team

November 23, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden speaks at Georgetown in 2016. Photo by Caitlyn Cobb

Ten Georgetown University faculty members have been named to President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team, taking on roles to advise the incoming administration on public health, the economy, diplomacy, and national security. 

The cohort of professors and fellows are the largest group of volunteers in the Biden transition from a single university, and the majority either worked in or were consultants to the Obama administration. The group was tapped alongside roughly 500 others to join the transition’s agency review teams, which oversee the transfer of power in federal agencies as the government moves between presidential administrations. 

These selections, like the whole transition team, reflect the diversity Biden advocated for on the campaign trail. CNN reported on Nov. 15 that over 40 percent of Biden’s transition staff were people of color and that women were a majority of both the team and its senior leadership. Among the 10 joining from Georgetown, half are women and four are people of color. 

The group will enter a team already led in part by Hoyas. Biden’s recently named chief of staff, Ron Klain (CAS ’83), as well as his chief campaign strategist turned senior advisor, Mike Donilon, are both Georgetown alumni. Klain has also taught at Georgetown in the past as an adjunct lecturer, and spoke out against the Trump administration’s COVID-19 response at a GU Politics event in March.

Notable among the transition’s advisory appointments is Dr. Rebecca Katz, an associate professor and director of the Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University Medical Center. Though not a member of the Biden transition’s 13-person COVID-19 advisory board, Katz was named alongside a former senior Obama official to advise the task force over the coming weeks. Additionally, Katz is part of the agency review teams for the National Security Council and Executive Office of the President. In the past, she has been a consultant to the State Department on diseases and biological weapons. 

Others to join the transition include Georgetown Law Professors Chris Brummer and Laura Moy. Brummer, faculty director for the Institute of Economic Law, was nominated by President Barack Obama in 2016 to lead the Commodity Futures Trading Commission before his nomination was rescinded by President Donald Trump. Moy, director of Georgetown Law’s Communications and Technology Law Clinic, has previously advocated before Congress and federal agencies as a policy expert on consumer privacy, data security, and net neutrality. Brummer and Moy will serve on the agency review teams for the Treasury Department and Federal Trade Commission, respectively.

Nancy McEldowney, professor and director of Georgetown’s Master of Science in Foreign Service program, was tapped to join Biden’s review agency for the State Department. Additionally, Jeffrey DeLaurentis (SFS ’76), resident fellow in Latin American Studies, will join the transition’s review team for the United States Mission to the United Nations. Previously DeLaurentis has worked as first chargé d’affaires to the U.S. Embassy in Havana and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.

Martin Lederman, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel during the first years of the Obama administration, will join the review team for the department. Lederman has worked as a professor for Georgetown Law specializing in the separation of powers, war powers, and the First Amendment.  

The Biden transition has published a full list of agency review team members online and is expected to begin naming Cabinet officials for the upcoming administration over the next few weeks.

John Woolley
is a college senior and Multimedia Executive Editor. Has "Big Ruth Energy," some say.

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