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Rahm taps White House veteran Melissa Green to lead Chicago DC office

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel tapped an Obama and Clinton White House veteran, Melissa Green, to lead the City of Chicago's Washington office.

The Chicago office is responsible for, among other items, monitoring federal agencies, regulators, Congress and the executive branch to try to squeeze money out of Washington or to try influencing the way rules are written to the city's advantage. Emanuel, President Obama's former chief of staff and a top advisor to former President Bill Clinton, picked a specialist in how the inner guts of government works to be the city's chief lobbyist in the capitol.

I understand Emanuel, also a former North Side congressman, still works the phones in Washington--but he needs someone like Green to help him navigate the inner crevices of government. Green, who starts on Tuesday, will have the title Washington Office Director and Deputy Director of the city Legislative Counsel and Government Affairs office headed by Matt Hynes.

Green recently departed Goldman Sachs, where she was a vice president in the Office of Corporate Engagement; before that, she was the chief of staff at the Office of Management and Budget when former OMB chief Peter Orszag ran the shop. (Rahm's brother Zeke also worked for a time with Orszag at OMB on health policy.)

At the OMB, according to the city, Green "served as the director's strategic advisor on management, communications and policy matters. She worked closely with the legislative, communications, legal and public liaison functions of the agency."

The OMB holds the keys to the federal kingdom. If a mayor wants a policy to reflect his or her priorities, it's crucial to know how the OMB works. In an era where Congress has cracked down on earmarks, local governments have to be able to work the agencies and the rules to grab federal cash.

Green worked in the Clinton White House as chief of staff to the National Economic Council director Gene Sperling--who is the director of the NEC for Obama. Green also worked for two of Emanuel's close friends, Paul Begala and James Carville, launching her career at their political consulting firm.

Click below for Green bio...

below, from the city of Chicago......


Over the course of her twenty year career, Melissa has specialized in handling sensitive assignments in high pressure public environments. Her skills include strategic planning and problem solving, branding, internal and external coordination and outreach.

Most recently, Melissa was a Vice President at Goldman Sachs in the Office of Corporate Engagement (OCE), where she is part of a team implementing a $500 million initiative to help create jobs and economic opportunity in the United States. Melissa served as OCE's primary liaison with the Goldman Sachs Bank's Urban Investment Group (UIG) and worked closely with them on the access to capital component of the initiative. Additionally, Melissa launched and managed the successful New Orleans 10,000 Small Businesses initiative working closely with local leaders including Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Goldman Sachs was honored by the New Orleans City Council in October 2011 for the impact the initiative is having on the local economy.

Before joining Goldman Sachs, Melissa served as the chief of staff at the Office of Management and Budget reporting to director Peter Orszag. In that capacity she served as the director's strategic advisor on management, communications and policy matters. She worked closely with the legislative, communications, legal and public liaison functions of the agency.

Melissa first worked with Orszag at the Retirement Security Project, where she served as his chief of staff from 2004 until 2008. Relying on independent research and evidence-based results, the Retirement Security Project promoted retirement security among moderate- and lower- income families. A joint venture between Georgetown University and the Brookings Institution, it was funded by a multimillion, multiyear grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts. In addition to managing the project day-to-day, Melissa was a senior counselor on numerous policy and political strategy issues. Prior to being named chief of staff, Melissa served as a consultant to Brookings and was instrumental in the creation of and launch of the project.

In the Clinton White House, Melissa served for nearly two years as the chief of staff to the National Economic Council (NEC) when Gene Sperling was its director. In 1996, she joined the NEC staff as Sperling's executive assistant, rising to special assistant and chief of staff over the course of her four year tenure.

Melissa began her career at the political consulting firm Carville-Begala. While with Carville-Begala, Melissa managed and advanced the branding of the principals and was responsible for securing speaking engagements and negotiating client contracts for lectures, political party events, corporate consulting and commercial work with diverse clients.

Melissa holds a Master of Arts in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University in New York City. She graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado.

Melissa currently sits on the Alumni Board of Directors of the Georgetown Day School in Washington, DC, where she is the chair of the Finance Committee.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on November 28, 2011 3:04 PM.

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