White House Adviser Will Join K-School

Kamarck Will Head Visions for Governance

Elaine C. Kamarck, senior policy adviser to Vice President Al Gore '69, will trade her office at the White House for one at the Kennedy School of Government next year.

Kamarck will head the Visions of Governance for the 21st Century project--a multi-year plan created to improve public debate on the role of government, said Dean of the Kennedy School Joseph S. Nye yesterday.

"I've been at the White House for four years, and I've had a fantastic time," Kamarck said. "But it is time to do some reflective work about government about things that are relevant and meaningful."

As the leader for the project's second phase, Kamarck will work with Nye to examine the changing roles of governments, private firms and nonprofit organizations in modern democracies.

"The first thing will be to survey the work that's already been done by the faculty at the Kennedy School and thinkers throughout the nation," Kamarck said.


She said the project will give students a broader understanding of how the government's many facets converge.

"There are certain things that affect all forms of government, and it will be interesting to see, from a structured perspective, how they intersect," Kamarck said. "That's a perspective you don't have when you're in the middle of government."

Administrators at the Kennedy School said they were enthusiastic about Kamarck's selection.

"The Visions of Governance project is not an isolated, academic exercise," Nye said in a statement. "Elaine will spearhead the effort to engage practitioners and other non-academics in the project, and I eagerly await the chance to put her outstanding abilities to work.

Wiener Professor of Public Policy in the Kennedy School David T. Ellwood agreed with Nye, citing Kamarck's extensive experience in government and her "high level of intellectual prowess."

"Elaine clearly brings with her a broad range of experience in government," Ellwood said. "She has definitely been part of an effort to improve government. But even more so, she has seen a wide range of activities and ideas that will benefit the program."

As senior policy adviser to Gore, Kamarck created and managed the Clinton administration's National Performance Review, a government reform project. Kamarck also worked on several other committees for Clinton, including the welfare reform task force.

"I really have a broad look at government," Kamarck said. "My days begin with welfare reform and end with a discussion on electronic warfare. At the Kennedy School, I will be able to systematically see where all these aspects of government are headed to in the 21st century."

Prior to joining the administration, Kamarck founded the Progressive Policy Institute--the think tank for the Democratic Leadership Council--was a columnist for Newsday and the Los Angeles Times and taught at several universities.

Although Kamarck said she looked forward to joining the Kennedy School team, she added that she will miss her White House employer.

"The Vice President congratulated me when he heard the news and, as a graduate of the University, is extremely supportive," Kamarck said. "We'll certainly be in touch.

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