Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cunningham To Transition Team

The Curmudgeon's BFF and old college roommate Nelson Cunningham has been announced as part of President-elect Obama's transition team, as one of the leads for the International Trade and Economics Team.

Nelson is well-suited to the task. He started public service in Rudy Giuliani's U.S. Attorneys office in NY, then went on to be general counsel to Joe Biden's Senate Judiciary Committee (during some key Supreme Court appointments). From there, it was General Counsel to Bill Clinton's Office of Administration.

After that, Nelson, who grew up in Latin America, is fluent in Spanish and well-versed in foreign policy, got the job he really wanted, serving as chief of staff to the U.S. Special Envoy to the Americas, who was Mack McLarty--Bill Clinton's childhood friend who served as White House Chief of Staff in Clinton's first term.

When the Bushies took power, Nelson and McLarty started an international consulting firm that has done quite well, recently celebrating its tenth anniversary. Bill Richardson--former U.N. Ambassador, Secretary of Energy and New Mexico Governor--worked with Nelson at the McLarty firm for a couple of years after the end of the Clinton administration.
In 2004, Nelson advised John Kerry's campaign on international relations issues (Nelson worked on a Kerry campaign early in his legal career while practicing law for a firm in Boston).
Nelson also assisted the Obama campaign on foreign policy issues and raised money for the general election (he was neutral in the primaries, in deference to having worked with or for several of the candidates).
He will provide sober, practical guidance to the Obama transition team as it rounds out appointments in the international arena, guided by years of experience working with representatives of primarily Latin American and Asian nations.

Other members of this part of Obama's transition team:

Reed Hundt
Michael Warren
Josh Gotbaum
William “Thomas” Dohrmann
James Johnson
Anjan Mukherjee
Gregory L. Rosston
Sylvia Mathews Burwell
Susan Ness
Phil Weiser
Peter M. Shane
Fred P. Hochberg
Ginger Lew
Gary Gensler
Mozelle W. Thompson
Peter Blair Henry
Lisa D. Cook
George Munoz
Alan H. Fleischmann

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