Wildcats in the White House

Joe Kennedy

Joe Kennedy

Current job: Staff assistant, Office of Public Engagement

Education: Northwestern (SESP07 — bachelor's in social policy and religion)

Previous jobs: Summer intern in Sen. Obama's Washington, D.C., office, 2006; Obama presidential campaign, April 2007–November 2008

Hometown: Glenview, Ill.

Elizabeth Sears Smith

Elizabeth Sears Smith

Current job: Deputy Cabinet secretary

Education: University of California, Berkeley (bachelor's in political science, 1986), Northwestern (KSM97 — master of management)

Previous jobs: Chief of staff for then-Rep. Rahm Emanuel, 2003-09; deputy assistant secretary in Commerce Department's International Trade Administration, 1998–2001; co-founder of and consultant with Strategy Group, 1989–95; also worked on 1989 campaign of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley (H08)

Hometown: Chicago

Samir Mayekar

Samir Mayekar

Current job: National security director, Office of Presidential Personnel

Education: Northwestern (WCAS06 — bachelor's in political science and international studies)

Previous jobs: Budget manager with Obama for America, 2008; consultant with Marakon Associates in Chicago, 2006–07; volunteer in Iowa for the presidential campaign of then-Rep. Richard Gephardt (C62), 2004

Hometown: Katy, Texas

Madhuri Kommareddi

Madhuri Kommareddi

Current job: Director for international economic affairs, National Security Council

Education: Northwestern (WCAS04 — bachelor's in political science with a minor in Asian American studies)

Previous jobs: A member of Obama's policy team, 2008 campaign; worked on several local campaigns; worked on Obama's U.S. Senate campaign in 2004, then on his staff in Washington, D.C.; was a delegate at the 2004 Democratic National Convention

Hometown: Flint, Mich.

Michael Blake

Michael Blake

Current job: Associate director, Office of Public Engagement; deputy associate director, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs

Education: Northwestern (J04 — bachelor's in journalism)

Previous jobs: Worked for Obama campaign starting in Iowa and ending in Michigan, 2007–08; managed three state representative campaigns in Michigan; assistant to Illinois state Sen. Jeff Schoenberg, 2005

Hometown: The Bronx, N.Y.

Cody Keenan

Cody Keenan

Current job: Associate director, presidential speechwriting

Education: Northwestern (WCAS02 — bachelor's in political science); Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government (master's in public policy, 2008)

Previous jobs: Speechwriter, Obama campaign, 2008; intern with Obama campaign, 2007; intern and legislative assistant, office of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, 2004–07

Hometown: Chicago

Other Northwestern alumni who work at the White House, though this is by no means a comprehensive list:

Hilary Alley (WCAS08), Office of Management and Administration

Ebs Burnough (C02), Office of the Social Secretary

Tara Corrigan (C08), White House Operations

Vianca Monet Dyer (C07), Office of the First Lady

Mona Jabbour (L05), Office of Presidential Personnel

Anna Kim (WCAS05), Office of the Staff Secretary

Jenna Pilat (WCAS05), Presidential Correspondence

Bobby Schmuck (C07), Office of Political Affairs

Kate Shaw (L06), White House Counsel's Office

Christina Tchen (L84), director, Office of Public Engagement

Matt Tranchin (WCAS07), Office of Public Engagement

Lily Trienens (WCAS07), Office of Presidential Personnel

David Wade (WCAS04), White House Communications

Matthew Winters (WCAS01), Office of Presidential Personnel

Portraits by Paul Fetters