Former White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten visits the Ford School

May 19, 2009

Joshua Bolten

On April 16, Ford School students, faculty, and staff had an incredible opportunity to meet in small groups with a very distinguished policymaker, former White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten. Bolten served as former President George W. Bush's chief of staff from 2006 until January 2009 and had been working in the White House throughout Bush's two terms in office.

Bolten was introduced to the Ford School through U-M alum John D. Evans, who was one of the co-founders of CSPAN and who has remained actively enaged with the University. Evans accompanied Bolten during his day at the school, which began with lunch with a number of faculty and friends of the Ford School. Bolten directed the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) from 2003 through 2006, and after lunch he offered career advice to a small group of MPP students who are interested in OMB jobs or internships.

Later in the day, Bolten spoke to a packed room of around 55 students, faculty, and staff in a session titled, "Running the White House: Advice I Gave My Successor." Bolten shared an insider's perspective on the presidential transition, related several pieces of advice he had given to current White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel as the two transitioned, and answered a number of policy- and politics-oriented questions from Ford School students.

Bolten has had a long and distinguished career in public service, stretching back to 1985 when he began a stint as counsel to the Senate Finance Committee. Bolten served in a variety of roles within the Administration of former President George W. Bush. He was the Director of the Office of Management and Budget from 2003 to 2006. Prior to that, he served as the White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and spent two years doing campaign work as the Policy Director for Bush's 2000 presidential bid.

Bolten was the Executive Director for Legal and Government Affairs at Goldman Sachs in London from 1994 to 1999. He worked in the George H.W. Bush Administration as general counsel to the U.S. Trade Representative and as Deputy Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs.

Bolten is a graduate of St. Albans Prep School, Princeton University, and Stanford Law School, where he was an editor of the law review.