News from MacMurray College
Presidential advisor to speak at MacMurray
Chris Lu will give the College’s 2011 commencement address.
Chris Lu, Cabinet Secretary for President Barack Obama, will be the commencement speaker during MacMurray College’s 2011 graduation ceremonies, when Lu will receive an honorary doctorate.
Holding the title of Assistant to the President – the highest rank in the White House – Lu is the primary liaison between President Obama and his Cabinet, helping to coordinate policy and communications strategy. He plays a critical role in managing the flow of information between the White House and the federal departments and in representing the interests of the Cabinet to the White House.
Lu is one of Barack Obama’s longest-serving aides and played a prominent role in the president’s political ascension. The two first met as law students at Harvard, and in early 2005, Obama asked Lu to become the Legislative Director of his U.S. Senate office. During the presidential campaign, Lu became the Acting Chief of Staff of Obama’s Senate office, and after Election Day, Lu became the Executive Director of the Obama-Biden transition team.
His 15 years of government experience includes eight years as Deputy Chief Counsel of the House Government Reform Committee. During the 2004 general election, Lu served as Special Advisor for Communications for the Kerry-Edwards presidential campaign.
Lu, 44, started his legal career as a law clerk to Judge Robert E. Cowen of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He then spent four years as a litigator at Sidley & Austin in Washington, D.C. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University and a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School. He was recently named one of the “Princetonians of the Decade,” a prestigious list of 21 Princeton alumni who have made the biggest contributions over the past 10 years.
The son of Chinese immigrants, Lu is one of the highest-ranking Asian Americans in the Obama Administration and recently served as a member of the official U.S. delegation to the Shanghai Expo. In October 2010, he was selected to give the keynote address at the first-ever reunion of Harvard University Asian American alumni.
Lu resides in Arlington, VA, with his wife, Katie Thomson. She serves as Counselor to Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, who as a member of Congress represented the Jacksonville and Springfield areas. Thomson, who is a trustee of MacMurray, is a native of Jacksonville and comes from a family that has been associated with MacMurray for four generations.
MacMurray commencement is scheduled for May 7 at Annie Merner Chapel. Seating is reserved; a limited number of tickets will be available to the public by calling 479-7027. Leave a message with contact information, including e-mail, if available.