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Obama policy director Karen Kornbluh '85 to discuss the path from BMC to Capitol Hill

Karen Kornbluh '85, policy director to U.S. Sen. and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, will offer some insight to students considering a career in public policy when she returns to Bryn Mawr on Thursday, April 10, at 8 p.m., to deliver a talk titled "From Bryn Mawr College to Capitol Hill: How Bryn Mawr Influenced My Political Career."

The lecture, to take place in Thomas Great Hall, will be followed by discussion and a reception; the event is free and open to the public.

Kornbluh, who majored in economics and English at Bryn Mawr before earning a Master of Public Administration degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, joined Sen. Obama's staff as policy director during his freshman term in 2004. She had established a reputation as an innovative thinker at the centrist think tank the New America Foundation, where she founded the Workforce and Family Program.

In editorials appearing in such publications as the Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, Kornbluh has argued that working parents should not have to sacrifice benefits like pensions and health insurance in exchange for the job flexibility often demanded by childrearing. Her policy proposals for severing the connection between employment and social insurance have had a significant impact on the public debate. Kornbluh is also known as an advocate of public investment in broadband Internet connectivity.

Before joining the New America Foundation, Kornbluh served in the Clinton Administration, first at the Federal Communications Commission and then as deputy chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin. In the early 1990s, she was an aide to U.S. Sen. John Kerry on the staff of the Commerce Committee and its Telecommunications Subcommittee.

Kornbluh's visit is sponsored by the Bryn Mawr-Haverford Career Development Office, the Bryn Mawr Alumnae Association, the Bryn Mawr Economics Department, Bryn Mawr Students for Barack Obama, Haverford Students for Barack Obama, the SGA Special Events Fund, and Swarthmore Students for Barack Obama.

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Posted 4/3/2008 by Claudia Ginanni