Hillary Clinton has tapped two Jewish deputies for the State Department.
The secretary of state nominee reportedly wants Jacob Lew and James Steinberg as her chief lieutenants, according to a report in Tuesday’s New York Times. Lew, the director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Bill Clinton, would focus on increasing the share of financing that goes to the diplomatic corps. Such a position was not filled in the current Bush administration. Steinberg was a deputy national security adviser in the Clinton administration and confirmed his appointment in an e-mail to faculty and students at the University of Texas at Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs.
During the Clinton administration, Lew, an observant Jew known as Jack, always left the office on Fridays in time to celebrate Shabbat.
Both positions require Senate confirmation.
UPDATE: The Obama-Biden transition team made the appointments of Lew and Steinberg official Tuesday afternoon. Here are their bios:
James B. Steinberg, Deputy Secretary of State
James B. Steinberg became dean of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs on January 1, 2006. Before joining the School, he was the vice president and director of Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. (2001-2005), where he supervised a wide-ranging research program on U.S. foreign policy. From December 1996 to August 2000, he served as deputy national security advisor to President Bill Clinton. During that period he also served as the president’s personal representative ("Sherpa") to the 1998 and 1999 G-8 summits. Prior to becoming deputy national security advisor, he served as chief of staff of the U.S. State Department and director of the State Department’s policy planning staff (1994-1996), and as deputy assistant secretary for analysis in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (1993-1994). Steinberg is a member of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ Science and Security Board, the President’s Council on International Activities of Yale University, the board of directors of the Pacific Council on International Policy, the senior advisory council of The American Assembly’s Next Generation Project, the board of advisors of the Center for a New American Security, the board of advisors of The Yale Journal of International Law, and the editorial board of The Washington Quarterly. He also is a member of the D.C. Bar. Steinberg is the author of and contributor to many books and articles on foreign policy and national security topics, including Difficult Transitions: Foreign Policy Troubles at the Outset of Power, Protecting the Homeland 2006/2007 and An Ever Closer Union: European Integration and Its Implications for the Future of U.S.-European Relations. Steinberg received his B.A. from Harvard in 1973 and J.D. from Yale Law School in 1978. Steinberg is married to Ms. Sherburne B. Abbott, director of the Center for Science and Practice of Sustainability at the University of Texas at Austin. They have two daughters, Jenna and Emma.
Jacob Lew, Deputy Secretary of State
Jacob J. "Jack" Lew is a Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Citi Alternative Investments, where he is responsible for operations, technology, human resources, legal, finance and regional coordination. Previously, Mr. Lew was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of New York University, where he was responsible for budget, finance, and operations (including capital projects and human resources). Prior to joining NYU, Mr. Lew served in President Clinton’s cabinet as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and led the Administration budget team, from the preparation of the President’s budget through final negotiations with Congress. He was also a member of the National Security Council. From 1979 to 1987, he was a Senior Policy Advisor to House Speaker Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr. Mr. Lew serves on the Corporation for National and Community Service Board and chairs its Management, Administration, and Governance Committee. He co-chairs the Advisory Board for City Year New York and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Brookings Institution Hamilton Project Advisory Board, and the National Academy of Social Insurance. He is a member of the bar in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.