Karen Kornbluh

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Karen Kornbluh at the Policy Network Progressive Governance Conference in 2010

Karen Kornbluh (born 1963) is Executive Vice President of External Affairs at Nielsen. She was previously an American government official, and expert on communications policy, international trade and issues affecting working families. A senior adviser to Barack Obama from the beginning of his Senate tenure throughout his 2008 presidential campaign, she has been called "Obama's brain."[1] She was Obama's Ambassador to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).[2]

Education[edit]

Kornbluh attended Hunter College High School, earned a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College and a Master of Public Policy degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.[3]

Career[edit]

Early in her career, Kornbluh was a Telesis management consultant to Fortune 500 high-technology companies and an economist at Alan Greenspan's economic forecasting firm, Townsend-Greenspan & Co.[4] She worked for Senator John Kerry (D-MA) on the staff of the Commerce Committee and its Telecommunications Subcommittee.

From 1994 to 1997, she filled several roles at the Federal Communications Commission, starting in November 1994 as Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Plans and Policy, working on educational technology and children's television. She next served as Assistant Chief of the Commission's International Bureau, helping to negotiate the World Trade Organization Agreement on Basic Telecommunications and leading negotiations for the first satellite agreement between the United States and Mexico. She became Director of the FCC's Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs in February 1997, while the agency was implementing key provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. She completed her FCC service as Deputy Chief of the Mass Media Bureau. In that role, she handled digital television matters as well as a variety of other issues before the Bureau.[5] She went from the FCC to the Department of the Treasury, where she was deputy chief of staff to Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin, working on such issues as e-commerce and international trade.[6]

Kornbluh founded the Work and Family Program at the New America Foundation, having joined the think tank as a Markle Fellow.[7] She has argued for a modernized social insurance system that would better meet the needs of "juggler families," which are dependent on the incomes of both parents or that of a single parent.[8][9] Prominent conservative commentator David Brooks cited Kornbluh's piece on juggler families as one of the notable magazine articles that characterized 2006 as a "year of losing ground," or a time of pronounced anxiety in the United States.[10] Kornbluh has also published articles on economic policy in such periodicals as The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times and The Washington Post.[11] She is a senior fellow for digital policy at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Obama hired her as his policy director in 2004—a move that was seen as a sign of his determination to build an unusually strong staff for a freshman Senator.[12] A 2007 New York Sun article mentions Kornbluh as one of several former Clinton Administration officials who joined "the Obama camp," rather than Hillary Rodham Clinton's team, for the 2008 presidential election.[13] She was primary drafter of the 2008 Democratic platform.[14]

Personal[edit]

In 1993, Kornbluh married lawyer James J. Halpert,[15] for whom the character Jim Halpert, on the television show The Office, is named.[16] They have two children.[14]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fantz, Ashley. [1] Getting inside Obama's 'brain'. CNN, November 13, 2008. Accessed 11/18/08
  2. ^ [2] Confirmations. Foreign Policy, August 7, 2009. Accessed 8/8/09.
  3. ^ [3] Markle Foundation
  4. ^ [4] FCC
  5. ^ [5] FCC
  6. ^ [6] Markle Foundation
  7. ^ [7] Democracy: A Journal of Ideas
  8. ^ [8] Democracy: A Journal of Ideas
  9. ^ Obama, Barack. The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, Crown, 2006, p. 336. ISBN 0-307-23769-9.
  10. ^ Brooks, David. This Age Of Anxiety, The New York Times, December 17, 2006.
  11. ^ http://www.tpmcafe.com/user/kkornbluh TPM Cafe Bio
  12. ^ [9] Great Expectations
  13. ^ Gerstein, Josh. [10] Hillary Sees Bill's Allies Fall Away. New York Sun, 1/19/07. Accessed 1/19/07.
  14. ^ Fantz, Ashley. [11] Getting inside Obama's 'brain'. CNN, November 13, 2008. Accessed 11/18/08
  15. ^ New York Times Weddings [12]. Accessed January 28, 2007.
  16. ^ Washington Post [13] Accessed December 6, 2008.