The Higher Education Credentials of Obama’s Senior Black Appointments

Barack Obama, a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, has appointed a number of African Americans with equally impressive academic credentials to high posts in his administration. Here are the details:

Eric H. Holder Jr. is the first African American to be named attorney general of the United States. He is a graduate of the prestigious Stuyvesant High School in lower Manhattan. He earned a bachelor’s degree in American history at Columbia University. In 1976 he graduated from Columbia Law School. Holder served as deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration.

Holder is married to Sharon Malone. She is the sister of Vivian Malone, who was the first black graduate of the University of Alabama.

Valerie B. Jarrett is a close adviser and friend of Barack and Michelle Obama. She has been named White House senior adviser and assistant to the president for intergovernmental relations and public liaison. She is a graduate of Stanford University where she majored in psychology. She earned a law degree at the University of Michigan. Jarrett has been serving as CEO of the Habitat Company, a large Chicago housing developer.

Jarrett’s grandfather, Robert Taylor, was the first African-American graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her father is professor emeritus of pathology and medicine at the University of Chicago.

Susan E. Rice was named by Obama as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. She was the assistant secretary of state for African affairs in the Clinton administration. Her father, Emmett J. Rice, is a former governor of the Federal Reserve and professor of economics at Cornell University.

Susan Rice is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Stanford University where she majored in history. She became a Rhodes Scholar and completed her master’s degree and Ph.D. at Oxford.