Georgetown University recently announced the appointment of two visiting professors who formerly served President Clinton’s (SFS ’68) administration. John D. Podesta (LAW ’76) served as chief of staff to Clinton, and Seth P. Waxman served as the 41st Solicitor General of the United States.

While serving at the White House, Podesta maintained an academic relationship with the Law Center, teaching various courses on legislation, congressional investigations, copyright and public interest law.

Podesta has also served as White House deputy chief of staff, staff secretary, the president’s senior policy adviser and chief counsel for the Senate Agriculture Committee, among other committees and positions.

In 1988, Podesta established Podesta Associates, Inc., a Washington, D.C., government relations and public affairs firm with his brother Tony.

According to Waxman, his job as solicitor general consisted primarily of selecting which cases the Supreme Court would review, deciding which position the U.S. government would take on each issue and representing the government at trial. By Waxman’s own estimate, his office has handled over 2,800 cases during his tenure, covering “virtually all aspects of the law.” He supervised a staff of 50, including 26 attorneys, and oversaw a budget of over $6 million.

A native of Hartford, Conn., Waxman studied at Harvard University. After graduating summa cum laude, he took advantage of a Rockefeller Fellowship and spent the year in Kenya. Waxman went on to Yale Law School, where he was managing editor of the Yale Law Journal. Following graduation, he acted as law clerk to the District Judge for the District of Columbia before moving to a private practice.

Waxman’s ascent to solicitor general included a long tradition of public service. Starting as associate deputy attorney general, he moved up to principle deputy solicitor general and then acting deputy attorney general until Clinton nominated him in 1997. Prior to being selected, Waxman had received recognition for his pro bono work, including awards from the American Bar Association and the Anti-Defamation League. He is married with two children.

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