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IOP Director Williams Joins Clinton Transition Team

Margaret "Maggie" A. Williams, who managed Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2008, has been named as director of the Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics, the school announced Thursday afternoon.
Margaret "Maggie" A. Williams, who managed Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2008, has been named as director of the Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics, the school announced Thursday afternoon.
By Nathaniel J. Hiatt, Crimson Staff Writer

UPDATED: Wednesday, August 17, at 10:14 a.m.

Institute of Politics director Margaret A. “Maggie” Williams will take an unpaid leave of absence in order to join a team of advisers to Hillary R. Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, tasked with planning for her potential transition to the White House.

According to Melodie L. Jackson, a spokesperson for the Kennedy School of Government, Williams's leave is expected to last until the end of the 2016 calendar year, and that the leave is temporary. Through Jackson, Williams said she was unavailable to comment.

“We expect the full range of IOP activities to continue during this interim period,” Jackson wrote in an emailed statement. “Dean [Douglas W.] Elmendorf is in the process of putting together the best structure to support those efforts.”{image id=1297547 align=right size=medium caption="Maggie Williams"

Clinton’s transition team—which will be based out of Washington, D.C.—also includes former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, former national security adviser Thomas E. Donilon, former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, and Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress. Clinton’s campaign announced the team Tuesday.

Transition teams are tasked with helping the president-elect prepare for the period after the November election but before the January inauguration, as well as for the opening days of the new president’s term. The transition team often has a hand in determining who will fill leadership roles in the new administration.

Jackson did not comment on how the Kennedy School would fill the IOP vacancy should Williams to accept a position in a Clinton administration.

Williams, who has been IOP director since 2014, has a long relationship with the Democratic nominee for president. She was chief of staff for Clinton when she was First Lady and in the middle of the 2008 presidential primaries was named campaign manager for Clinton. Following the election, she worked as an adviser on Clinton’s transition team, this time as the former First Lady assumed her role as Secretary of State.

Williams first met Clinton at the Children’s Defense Fund in the 1980s, according to the Washington Post. She also served as Bill Clinton’s chief of staff at the Clinton Foundation.

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