Abedin, October 2010
|Born||Huma Mahmood Abedin
July 28, 1976
Kalamazoo, Michigan, U.S.
|Education||George Washington University|
|Occupation||Aide to Hillary Rodham Clinton|
|Spouse(s)||Anthony Weiner (2010–present; 1 child)|
|Parent(s)||Syed Zainul Abedin and Saleha Mahmood Abedin|
Huma Mahmood Abedin (born July 28, 1976) is an American political staffer of both Indian and Pakistani descent. She has been a long-time aide to Hillary Clinton; she was U.S. Secretary of State Clinton's Deputy Chief of Staff at the State Department and before that, traveling chief of staff and "body woman" during Clinton's campaign for the Democratic nomination in the 2008 presidential election. She is married to former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner.
Abedin was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan. When she was two years old, her family moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Both her parents were educators. Her Indian father, Syed Zainul Abedin, born in New Delhi, India on April 2, 1928, graduated from Aligarh Muslim University in 1947 with a masters in English literature and joined the department's faculty as a lecturer. He later received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He died in 1993. Her Pakistani mother, Saleha Mahmood Abedin, also received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and is currently an associate professor of sociology at Dar Al-Hekma College in Jeddah.
While a student at George Washington University, Abedin began working as an intern in the White House in 1996, assigned to then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. In 1998, she was an assistant editor of the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. She later worked as traveling chief of staff and "body woman" during Clinton's 2008 Democratic Presidential nomination campaign, and subsequently served as Deputy Chief of Staff under Clinton in the State Department. She is currently a director of the transition team that is helping Clinton return to private life, and works for the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation.
In 2010, Abedin was included in Time's "40 under 40", a list of a "new generation of civic leaders" and "rising stars of American politics". At a celebration before Abedin's wedding to Anthony Weiner, Clinton said in a speech, "I only have one daughter. But if I had a second daughter, it would [be] Huma."
On June 13, 2012, some Republican members of Congress, led by Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, alleged that Abedin "has three family members–her late father, her mother and her brother – connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations." These claims have been widely rejected and condemned by a variety of sources, and are generally regarded as a conspiracy theory. The Washington Post called Bachmann's allegations "paranoid," a "baseless attack" and a "smear."
Republican Senators, led by John McCain, stated: "The letter and the report offer not one instance of an action, a decision or a public position that Huma has taken while at the State Department that would lend credence to the charge that she is promoting anti-American activities within our government." The Seattle Times compared Bachmann's accusations to the witch-hunts of Joseph McCarthy, calling the claims "unsupported... assaults by an unthinking zealot." The Anti-Defamation League condemned the letter as well, referring to it as "conspiratorial" and saying that the Representatives involved should "stop trafficking in anti-Muslim conspiracy theories". Abedin was subsequently placed under police protection after she received threats of violence, possibly connected to the allegations.
Senator Chuck Grassley raised questions about Abedin's work as a State Department employee, concerning the fact that she held four jobs from June 2012 to February 2013, as a part-time aide to Clinton while working as a consultant to private clients for consulting firm Teneo Holdings and she was working for the Clinton Foundation and also working for Clinton as an assistant. The State Department and Abedin both responded, with the State Department indicating that it uses special government employees routinely "to provide services and expertise that executive agencies require" and Abedin stating that she did not provide any government information or inside information gained from her State Department job to her private employer. Grassley found the letters unresponsive.
2016 Presidential Campaign
Abedin is continuing in her role as traveling chief of staff for Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign for President.
Abedin married then-Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) on July 10, 2010; Bill Clinton performed the wedding ceremony. In June 2011, Abedin became the subject of widespread media attention amid her husband's Twitter photo scandal. In the press conference where he admitted the online sexual conversations, Weiner said he had revealed his online relationships to his wife before their marriage. Regarding the new revelations, Weiner said, "She was very unhappy, she was very disappointed, and she told me as much. And she also told me that she loved me and we're going to get through this."
Abedin gave birth to a boy, Jordan Zain Weiner, in December 2011.
On July 23, 2013, Abedin spoke at a press conference in which she discussed her commitment to her husband, who was a New York City mayoral candidate, in spite of new revelations regarding online communications Weiner had with a woman in mid-2012. She disclosed the challenges of their marriage, their commitment to their son, and her ongoing support of his campaign.
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