Scarramucci and other alumni among Trump’s recent appointees

Anthony Scaramucci

jdarsie11 via Wikimedia Commons Anthony Scaramucci ’89

President Donald J. Trump has appointed Anthony Scaramucci ’89 to serve as White House communications director, overseeing Trump’s communications message development and strategy. A hedge fund executive and founder of SkyBridge Capital, Scaramucci most recently served as the senior vice president and chief strategy officer at the Export-Import Bank. (For the 2012-2013 academic year, he served as an expert-in-residence in partnership at Harvard Law School with the University-wide Harvard Innovation Lab.)

Credit: Franz JantzenAssociate Justice Neil M. Gorsuch

Earlier this year, less than a month into his new job, President Trump announced Neil Gorsuch ’91–then a federal appeals court judge in Denver–as his pick to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia ’60 on the United States Supreme Court.

Gorsuch and Scaramucci are among numerous Harvard Law School graduates whom President Trump has nominated since his inauguration. Some Harvard Law alumni started working immediately within the senior ranks of the White House staff and Cabinet agencies, while others are awaiting confirmation.

Mike Pompeo

Mike Pompeo ’94

In January, former Congressman Mike Pompeo ’94 was confirmed as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Pompeo graduated first in his class at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and then served five years in the U.S. Army and later founded an aerospace company. In 2010, he was elected to the House of Representatives, where he served three terms representing a south-central Kansas district and as a member of the House Intelligence Committee.

R. Alexander Acosta

Credit: Shawn T Moore/U.S. Department of Labor R. Alexander Acosta ’94

In late April,  R. Alexander Acosta ’94 was confirmed as secretary of labor. The dean of Florida International University College of Law, Acosta served as a member of the National Labor Relations Board early in George W. Bush’s administration. He went on to be confirmed as assistant attorney general overseeing the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and as the U.S. attorney in Miami.

Two alumni were appointed to occupy both the number two and three slots at the Justice Department under Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Rod Rosenstein ’89, who served as the U.S. attorney in Maryland under both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama ’91, was confirmed as deputy attorney general in April.

Rod Rosenstein

Credit: U.S. Department of Justice Rod Rosenstein ’89

Rachel Brand ’98, the first woman to serve as associate attorney general, was nominated by Trump in February and confirmed by the Senate in May. She previously served as an assistant attorney general overseeing the Office of Legal Policy and as an associate White House counsel under President Bush. Brand has served as a member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board since 2012.

Another alumnus, Sarah Isgur Flores ’08, is director of the Justice Department’s Office of Public Affairs. She previously worked in the Republican National Committee’s communications office and as deputy campaign manager for Carly Fiorina’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Jeffrey Rosen ’82 was confirmed by the Senate to be the deputy transportation secretary in May. He served as the department’s general counsel between 2003 and 2006 and then as general counsel and senior policy adviser for the Office of Management and Budget.

Rachel Brand

Rachel Brand ’98

The ranks of the White House Counsel’s office includes Stacy Cline Amin ’04, John Bash ’06, Annie Donaldson ’11, Greg Katsas ’89, Mike McGinley ’09 and Schuyler Schouten ’07. Schouten serves as special assistant  and associate counsel to the president. Previously an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell, he had also worked  as the principal policy aide for former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and as a research associate for Kissinger’s bestselling books “World Order” and “On China.”

Katsas, one of White House Counsel Don McGahn’s four principal deputies, was previously a Jones Day partner who helped lead the Trump Justice Department transition team. Katsas briefed and argued the landmark constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act. He headed the Justice Department’s Civil Division and served as acting associate attorney general under President George W. Bush.

Sarah Isgur Flores

Sarah Isgur Flores ’08

Amin, who serves as special assistant and associate counsel to the president, previously worked as chief counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and as counsel on the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee. She also was an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell and Caplin & Drysdale.

Bash serves as special assistant and associate counsel to the president. He comes to the White House from the solicitor general’s office, where he argued 10 cases before the Supreme Court.

Donaldson, who was an associate at Jones Day and Squire Patton Boggs, serves as deputy assistant and special counsel to the president, and chief of staff for the Office of the White House Counsel. She worked on the presidential campaign of Mitt Romney J.D./M.B.A. ’75 in both 2008 and 2012.

McGinley, who clerked for Gorsuch on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, serves as associate counsel to the President. He worked at Jones Day and Bancroft before becoming a partner at Kirkland & Ellis last October.

Also serving at the White House is Zina Bash ’07, who worked on the presidential campaign of Sen. Ted Cruz ’95 and as a counsel to Sen. John Cornyn. She is now a staff member on the Domestic Policy Council.

Avi Berkowitz ’16 is a special assistant to the president and assistant to Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner. Berkowitz hosted a talk show, “Trump Tower Live,” that streamed on Facebook during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Kenneth Juster J.D./M.P.P. ’79 was appointed deputy director of the National Economic Council and the deputy assistant to the president for international economic affairs in February. In June, Trump nominated Juster to be the next ambassador to India in New Delhi. Prior to his service in the Trump Administration, Juster served as senior adviser at the State Department under President George H. W. Bush and as under secretary of commerce between 2001 and 2005. He was most recently a partner and managing director at Warburg Pincus, a global investment firm.

In April, Gilbert B. Kaplan ’77 was nominated as Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade. A partner at King & Spalding, in the International Trade Group, he is also the co-founder of the Manufacturing Policy Initiative at Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary and the First Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Import Administration, and he was a key negotiator of the United States-Japan Semiconductor Agreement. 

In May, Trump nominated Henry Kerner ’92 to serve as U.S. special counsel, Office of Special Counsel. Kerner spent nearly 20 years working as a career prosecutor in California. After law school, he joined the staff of the House Oversight Committee, where he led investigations of the Federal bureaucracy. Kerner was the staff director under Sen. John McCain of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, the lead investigative committee of Congress.

Two alums were nominated to the federal judiciary. In July, John K. Bush ’89 was confirmed by the Senate to serve as a Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  Most recently a partner in the Louisville office of Bingham Greenebaum Doll, Bush practiced in complex litigation, including antitrust, securities, financial institutions, insurance, intellectual property, and product liability disputes. He previously was a partner at Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher in Washington, D.C.

Kevin C. Newsom ’97 was confirmed as a Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He most recently served as the chair of the appellate group at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, in Alabama, and he served as the Solicitor General of Alabama. He has argued four cases in the Supreme Court of the United States and has argued more than 35 cases in the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Tenth, and Eleventh, and D.C. Circuits, as well as in state supreme and appellate courts and a Native American tribal appellate court.

Several HLS alums were nominated to serve as U.S. attorneys.

Justin E. Herdman ’01 was nominated to serve as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. Currently a partner in the Investigations & White Collar Defense practice group at Jones Day, Herdman previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Cleveland, Ohio. During this time, Mr. Herdman prosecuted several terrorism cases and complex national security matters. He also served as an Assistant District Attorney in New York City from 2001 to 2005 and as an associate at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease. He is currently a Judge Advocate General in the United States Air Force Reserve. 

Kurt Alme ’92 was nominated to serve as United States Attorney for the District of Montana. He is currently the President and General Counsel of the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch Foundation. From 2003 to 2010, he served in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Montana, and was the First Assistant United States Attorney from 2006 to 2010. He has previously served as director of the Montana Department of Revenue. 

Marc Krickbaum ’04 was nominated to serve as United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa. Krickbaum is currently an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois, and he previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of Iowa. Prior to joining those U.S. Attorney’s Offices, Krickbaum served as counsel to the Deputy Attorney General, and as a trial attorney in the Civil Division of the Department of Justice.

In July, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee confirmed Herdman, Alme, and Krickbaum’s nominations and they will now go to the full Senate for approval.

Also in July, Thomas L. Kirsch II was nominated to serve as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana. Mr. Kirsch is currently a partner at Winston & Strawn LLP, where his practice focuses on complex litigation and corporate investigations. Previously, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana and as counsel to the Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice Office of Legal Policy.

And Dennis Shea ’86 was nominated to be Deputy United States Trade Representative, Geneva Office, with the Rank of Ambassador. Shea is the Vice Chairman of the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a Congressionally-appointed bipartisan panel that annually assesses the United States-China security, economic, and trade relationship, including China’s compliance with its WTO commitments. He previously served as Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Earlier in his career, he was deputy chief of staff and counsel to then-Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole.