Report: Record Number of Obama Admin Democrats Turn to Academia

A new report shows that, in what could be a record number, 22 government officials have turned away from the Administration and taken up posts in academia, including two former chairs of the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA), writes Malcolm A. Kline, Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.

The list of academic converts includes David Barron, the former Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel, former Head of the National Counterterrorism Center, Michel Leiter, Christina Romer, who was chair of the Council of Economic Advisers and Melissa Hathaway, who was acting senior director for cyberspace at the National Security Council.

Many are now either professors or scholars-in-residence at institutions of higher learning, with a third (7) making their way to Harvard.

It seems common for many to return to where they studied themselves. But for Republican appointees, this is rarely an option. While Republican scholars often shift into government roles when their party is in office, it’s rare for them to return to their schools.

“Although I went into the administration as a Democrat and came out as an independent, I didn’t realize how much I had shocked my colleagues by working in a Republican administration,” says NYU professor Diane Ravitch, former appointee of George H. W. Bush.

The report indicates that the exodus of Democrats shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.

The Graduate School of Political Management is currently searching for its next executive director, and as Andrea Vittorio reported at the GW Hatchet of George Washington University, the shortlist adheres to the current trend:

“In the second attempt to name a new leader for the school of practical politics, former U.S. Rep Mark Kennedy, R-Minn., four-time press secretary Maxine Isaacs, former U.S. Rep. Rick Lazio, R-N.Y. and an undisclosed sub-cabinet official in the Obama administration are being considered for the high-profile administrative role.”

The drift is somewhat historic, as earlier studies by Accuracy in Academia show that around half of President Clinton’s cabinet and one-third of President Carter’s left government service for university chairs, while just six made the same move from President Reagan’s and President George H. W. Bush’s terms in the White House.