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Eight DPIR alumni are among President Biden’s new administration

One of the 25 members of the new US Cabinet – Pete Buttigieg – studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Pembroke, while seven other DPIR graduates have been appointed to other senior posts.

Pete (Pembroke, 2005–BA PPE) rose to public prominence in his bid for the Democrat’s Presidential nomination and is the new Secretary of Transportation. He was awarded a First at Oxford, following exam revision on a cargo ship moving freight across the Atlantic, and was on the panel of last year’s PPE Centenary event at the University’s Alumni Weekend, Meeting Minds.

Meanwhile William J. Burns (St John’s, 1981–DPhil and MPhil International Relations) is the incoming Director of the CIA, and Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall (Balliol, 1981–DPhil International Relations) has been appointed the new Homeland Security Advisor.

Jake Sullivan (Magdalen, 1998 – MPhil International Relations and International Studies) is the National Security Advisor and Jonathan Finer (Balliol, 1999–MPhil International Relations) is the Deputy National Security Advisor.

Susan Rice (New College, 1996–DPhil and MPhil International Studies), the former National Security Advisor, will lead the Domestic Policy Council. While writing an award-winning thesis on Zimbabwean politics, Susan rowed for New College and led the Oxford women’s Blues basketball team to victory over Cambridge.

And Kurt M. Campbell (Brasenose, 1981–DPhil International Relations) will be Coordinator of Indo-Pacific affairs.

In President Biden’s wider team, Machmud Makhmudov (Magdalen, 2016–MPhil Political Theory), who graduated from Oxford only three years ago, is serving as a Policy Advisor for the Office of COVID Response. He previously supported the Biden campaign as a Policy Analyst.

Machmud participated in the 2018 Global Leadership Initiative (GLI) cohort, joining a varied group of postgraduate students worldwide in a six-month leadership learning journey. The unique programme aims to help students develop responsible leadership qualities.