Cameron Kerry

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Cameron Kerry
Cameron Kerry official portrait.jpeg
United States Secretary of Commerce
In office
June 1, 2013 – June 26, 2013
President Barack Obama
Deputy Patrick Gallagher (Acting)
Preceded by Rebecca Blank
Succeeded by Penny Pritzker
Personal details
Born (1950-09-06) September 6, 1950 (age 63)
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Kathy Weinman
Parents Richard John Kerry
Rosemary Isabel Forbes
Alma mater Harvard University
Boston College
Religion Judaism
(Previously Catholicism)

Cameron Forbes Kerry (born September 6, 1950) is an American politician. He is the younger brother and political confidant of John Forbes Kerry and the General Counsel of the US Department of Commerce.[1] He was appointed Acting United States Secretary of Commerce on June 1, 2013 [2] and resumed his position as General Counsel on June 26, 2013 when Penny Pritzker was sworn in as the 38th United States Secretary of Commerce. As the General Counsel of the Department of Commerce, Cameron Kerry is the principal legal advisor to the Secretary of Commerce and third ranking secretarial officer. President Obama nominated him on April 20, 2009 and he was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate on May 21, 2009.

He serves as chief legal officer of the Department and oversees the work of over 325 lawyers in 14 offices who provide legal advice to all components of the Department. Kerry is the Department's chief ethics officer, and co-chairs the Secretary's Internet Policy Task Force, which brings together Commerce agencies with expertise on the internet in the 21st century global economy.[3]

Life and career[edit]

The fourth child of U.S. diplomat Richard John Kerry and World War II Rosemary Isabel Forbes of the Forbes family and Dudley–Winthrop family, Cameron Kerry graduated from Harvard University in 1972, and Boston College Law School in 1978. Cameron Kerry was an associate with Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr in Washington, D.C. and served as law clerk to U.S. Senior Circuit Judge Elbert Tuttle, former Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (now the Eleventh Circuit). He has been an Adjunct Professor of Telecommunications Law at Suffolk University Law School and has written on First Amendment and cable television issues.[4] From 1983 to 2008, he worked as a Partner at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo, focusing on civil litigation, environmental issues, and communications regulation.

In 2004, Cameron Kerry served as an influential advisor in his brother's presidential campaign. Kerry played a role in decisions behind the scenes and as a campaign surrogate.[5]

In 1983, Cameron Kerry converted from Roman Catholicism to Judaism before marrying Kathy Weinman.[6]

Cameron Kerry traveled across the country speaking to his brother's views on Israel, campaigning with Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, writer-comedian Larry David, and Jewish elected officials.[7]

In 2006, Cameron Kerry explored a run for Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth[8] deciding not to run when the Democratic incumbent, William F. Galvin, announced that he would seek reelection.

During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Cameron Kerry was the Vice-Chair of the National Jewish Democratic Council and defended Barack Obama in the Jewish press.[9]


On September 18, 1972, the day before the primary election in which John Kerry was seeking his district's nomination in his race for the U.S. House of Representatives, Cameron Kerry and Thomas J. Vallely were caught in the basement of the building that housed both John Kerry and opponent Anthony R. DiFruscia's campaign headquarters. Cameron was charged with breaking and entering. One month later, the charges were dropped after the Kerry campaign explained that Cameron was in the building to investigate rumors that his brother's campaign telephone lines were being wiretapped.[10]


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Rebecca Blank
United States Secretary of Commerce

Succeeded by
Penny Pritzker