John Podesta, former presidential chief of staff and counselor, to visit campus

John Podesta and Poynter logo

Political consultant John Podesta, who served as President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff and as a counselor to President Barack Obama, will speak at Yale on Thursday, April 12 as a Poynter Fellow in Journalism.

Podesta’s talk, co-sponsored by The Politic, Yale’s undergraduate political publication, will take place at 8:30 p.m. in Rm. 119 of William L. Harkness Hall, 100 Wall St. The event is free and open to the public.

Podesta is currently the chair of the Center for American Progress, a think tank he founded in 2003 and ran as president and CEO until stepping down in 2011. He is also a visiting professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center. He served as chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and as co-chair of the Obama-Biden Transition Project in late 2008 and early 2009.

Podesta has worked in numerous different positions on Capitol Hill, including in the office of Democratic Leader Senator Thomas Daschle and as chief counsel for the Senate Agriculture Committee. He got his start in politics by working on Democratic campaigns, and he met Bill Clinton when they worked on a U.S. Senate campaign in 1970.

Podesta attended Knox College and received his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center. In 1988, after several years on the Hill, he and his brother Tony Podesta co-founded Podesta Associates, Inc., a lobbying firm that is retained by companies including Wal-Mart and Lockheed Martin.

The Poynter Fellowship in Journalism was established by Nelson Poynter, who received his master’s degree in 1927 from Yale. The fellowship brings to campus distinguished reporters, editors and others who have made important contributions to the media. Among recent Poynter fellows are David Litt, John Brennan, and Susan Glasser.

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