Thursday, September 06, 2007

"Senior Obama Advisers Travel to Iowa for Policy Discussions"

Freelance Photojournalism:
DES MOINES – Senator Barack Obama this week is sending his top policy advisers to attend meetings with Iowans in communities all across the state to get their insight and ideas about the most pressing challenges facing America. Obama, who’s running for president to challenge the conventional thinking in Washington, wants to develop further his policy agenda by consulting with the people actually affected by these challenges – not Washington special interests.
“As I continue to flesh out my policy agenda to change America, I want my senior advisers to get advice and insight from people in the Heartland – not Washington special interests,” Obama said. “Our campaign is building a grassroots movement for change, and I don’t just want Iowans’ support – I want their ideas.”

In April, Obama personally hosted a health care forum in Mason City where he spoke to local patients, employers, doctors, nurses and policy experts about reforming our nation’s health care system. Some of the ideas discussed at the forum were incorporated into the health care agenda that Obama unveiled six weeks later in Iowa City. Last month in Tama, Obama convened a summit of policy experts, lawmakers and farmers to talk about the challenges facing Rural America. Obama is expected to unveil a rural policy agenda later this fall.

Over the course of two-days, Obama’s advisers will travel to 12 different communities to consult with Iowans on issues like energy security, foreign policy and women’s issues. See below for background information on each of the advisors attending events across Iowa.

Background information on policy advisers:

Mark Alexander

Alexander is the Policy Director for the Obama campaign. He is currently on leave from his position as a Professor of Law at Seton Hall University School of Law. Mark previously served as General Counsel to Cory Booker and the Booker Team in the 2006 Newark Municipal elections. He then served in the same capacity for Newark in Transition, as Mayor Booker moved to assume the office. Previously, he was the Issues Director for the Bill Bradley for President campaign in 1999-2000.

Cassandra Butts

Butts is an advisor to the Obama campaign on domestic policy and has been a long-time friend of and advisor to Senator Obama since they were classmates at Harvard Law School. She was a senior advisor to Rep. Richard A. Gephardt (D-MO) and served as the policy director on his 2004 presidential campaign, which included formulating a universal health care plan. In her seven years of work for Rep. Gephardt during his tenure as the House Democratic Leader, Butts was a principal advisor on matters involving the judiciary, financial services, and information technology.

Judith A. Gold

Judy Gold is the Chair of the Obama campaign’s Policy Committee on Women’s Issues. She is a partner at Perkins Coie, a private law practice, and has devoted herself to women’s advocacy and philanthropy. In addition to her work in political law, private equity, and real estate, she served in Mayor Daley’s cabinet as the Chief of Policy. She currently serves on the Advisory Council for the Women’s Business Development Center, the Alumni Council of the Chicago Foundation for Women, and the Board of Mother Jones magazine. Previously, Judy was Chair of the Illinois Commission of the Status of Women for 5 years, served on the Illinois State Board of Education, and worked in the White House Office of Women’s Initiatives and Outreach. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in 1986 and her law degree from the University of Chicago Law School in 1989. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two small children.

Austan Goolsbee

Goolsbee is the Senior Economic Advisor to the Obama campaign. He is a professor of economics at the University of Chicago and a Fulbright Scholar. The Financial Times named him one of the six Gurus of the Future/Best Under 40 in 2005, and the World Economic Forum in Switzerland chose him one as one of the 2005 Young Global Leaders. He received his Master’s Degree in Economics from Yale in 1991 and his Ph.D. in the same subject in 1995 from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Jason Grumet

Grumet is the Chair of the Obama campaign’s Environment and Energy Policy Committee. He has lead several non-profit and policy organizations focusing on environmental and energy issues and is frequently called to testify before Congress on climate change, global warming, bio-fuels and energy security matters. He received a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Brown University and a J.D. from Harvard University.

Howard Learner

Learner advises the Obama campaign on environmental and renewable energy issues. He is an experienced attorney serving as the Executive Director of the Midwest’s leading public interest environmental and sustainable development organization. He previously served as the General Counsel of Business and Professional People for the Public Interest, a public interest law center, specializing in complex civil litigation and policy development.

Samantha Power

Power is a close foreign policy advisor to Sen. Obama. She is a professor of Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Her book A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide was awarded the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction, the 2003 National Book Critics Circle Award for general nonfiction, and the Council on Foreign Relations’ Arthur Ross Prize for the best book in U.S. foreign policy.

Daniel K Tarullo

Tarullo is the Co-Chair of the Obama campaign’s Economy, Globalization and Trade Policy Committee. He is also a Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center and a non-resident senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. During the Clinton Administration he was, successively, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, Deputy Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, and Assistant to the President for International Economic Policy.



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