President Levin Announces Appointment of Lawrence J. Haas as Director of Public Affairs and Special Assistant to the President

Yale University President Richard Levin announced today the appointment of Lawrence J. Haas as the University’s Director of Public Affairs and Special Assistant to the President. Haas last served as Communications Director for Vice President Al Gore. An award-winning journalist, author, free-lance writer, and TV and radio commentator, Haas also served as Communications Director for the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Budget Directors Alice Rivlin and Frank Raines.

“I am delighted that Larry Haas has agreed to lead our public affairs efforts,” Levin said. “He is a seasoned communications professional, and his broad range of experience and commitment to excellence will serve Yale University well.”

“I am very excited by the opportunity to help shape the communications efforts of one of the world’s truly great institutions of higher education,” Haas said. “I am greatly looking forward to the challenge, and I thank President Levin and Linda Koch Lorimer, Vice President and Secretary of the University, for placing their trust in me.”

Haas will serve as the architect of the University’s programs of public affairs, supervise a staff of about a dozen professionals, and work closely with communications officials within the University departments. He will serve as a key policy advisor to President Levin and will support the President, Officers, trustees, and faculty.

Haas, 42, earned his B.A. in American History from the University of Pennsylvania in 1978, where he graduated summa cum laude with distinction and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He then earned his M.A. in American History from Princeton University in 1980.

Haas worked from 1980-82 as a municipal reporter at the Daily Register in Shrewsbury, N.J., before moving to Harrisburg, Pa., where he served first as Statehouse Correspondent for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for a year and then as Bureau Chief for United Press International for two years. In 1985, he moved to Washington, D.C., to work as a reporter for the Bond Buyer, a New York-based financial newspaper, where he wrote about budget and tax issues. From 1987-92, he worked as a correspondent on budget and tax issues for National Journal.

In 1992, Haas became Special Assistant to the President of the National Academy of Public Administration, a non-profit think tank that focuses on making government work better. Two years later, White House Budget Director Alice Rivlin asked Haas to serve as OMB’s Communications Director, a position he held for three-and-a-half years. He then moved to the Office of Vice President Gore, serving as Communications Director since early 1998.

At OMB, Haas served as principal public spokesman for OMB Directors Alice Rivlin and Frank Raines, and he spoke on behalf of the Clinton Administration in TV, radio, and newspaper interviews. For four years, he served as editor of the President’s proposed annual federal budget – structuring the document, writing major portions of it, and editing the hundreds of pages of text. He also worked with Rivlin to create an annual Citizen’s Guide to the Federal Budget.

For Vice President Gore, Haas served as principal public spokesman. As Communications Director, Haas also directed the Vice President’s message events, edited his speeches, and managed a staff of 10.

Before joining the Clinton Administration, Haas wrote three books – a study of executive-legislative relations during the Bush Administration and two editions of The Washington Almanac: A Guide to Federal Policy. In addition, he was one of five writers who crafted From Red Tape to Results: Creating a Government that Works Better and Costs Less, the 1993 report of the Vice President’s National Performance Review, and he returned a year later to write Status Report, which chronicled the Administration’s progress in reinventing the federal government.

Over the years, Haas has appeared often as a TV and radio commentator. He has appeared on CNN, FNN, CNBC, C-SPAN, and various local TV stations. He also has appeared numerous times on National Public Radio and the BBC, and he has been a guest on hundreds of local radio programs. In addition, Haas has spoken before hundreds of trade groups and associations across the United States, and he has served as a lecturer for the Government Affairs Institute and the Legislative Studies Institute, both in Washington.

Haas, who will begin work on January 25, will report to Linda Koch Lorimer, Vice President and Secretary of the University, and also will work directly with President Levin as his Special Assistant.

Media Contact

Tom Conroy: tom.conroy@yale.edu, 203-432-1345