Spotlight Exclusives

CBPP Sends Two to Obama Administration

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The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is turning out to be fertile hiring territory for Obama Administration posts critical to combating poverty.

Martha Coven, a senior legislative associate with CBPP, is heading to the While House where she۪ll head up the Domestic Policy Council۪s mobility and opportunity team.  Martha was a great choice by Melody Barnes and Heather Higginbottom, who are on the way to developing a first rate DPC team.  Martha will also serve as a special assistant to the president. Obviously, she۪ll play a key role in  the issues that OOTS cares about.

Before coming to the Center in 2001, Martha worked on health care policy at Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports.  Her prior experience includes five years on Capitol Hill, four of which were spent working for former House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, (D-Mo) on a variety of communications and domestic policy initiatives.  Martha, the mom of young twins, has her bachelor’s and law degrees from Yale University.

Also joining the Obama administration from CBPP is Richard Kogan, who will work as a senior adviser for OMB Director Peter Orszag.   Kogan, another Yalie, has worked at CBPP since 2001 as a Senior Fellow specializing in federal budget issues, including aggregate spending, revenues, surpluses and deficits, and debt. He is also an expert in the congressional and executive budget processes and budget accounting concepts.  Richard is finishing his second tour at CBPP, where he was senior fellow in 1995 and 1996 and worked on Medicaid financing issues.

He is a 21-year veteran of the House Budget Committee, most recently as the Director of Budget Policy.  In 1990 he designed and drafted the Budget Enforcement Act, which established caps on discretionary appropriations and the “pay-as-you-go” rule for tax and entitlement legislation.  Richard also spent five years at the Congressional Research Service, specializing in conflicts between the executive and legislative branches on the budget. He graduated from Yale with a B.A. in political science, and then served for five years in the Congressional Research Service, specializing in budgetary conflict between the Executive and Legislative Branches.

CBPP is losing two of its very best in Martha and Richard, but its pool of talent remains deep.  And they will be leaving one of the few D.C. organizations where the hours, intensity and work-levels are greater than those of the Obama White House!

Posted by Mike


Here at “Out of the Spotlight” we love rumors and gossip (at least of the non-malicious type), so if you hear names that you think we should pay attention to, drop us a line at either or۪ll post new names as we get em! Of course, OOTS dishes on much more than who might be on the dream team. Check out “Out of the Spotlight” for our take on behind-the-scenes policy sparring, the twists and turns of political plans, and more. Contributions welcome!

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