Cathy Russell Expected to Get Jill Biden Chief of Staff Nod
By Al Kamen
Cathy Russell, formerly administrative assistant to Sen. Joe Biden and staff director on the Senate Judiciary Committee and a senior Justice Department official in the Clinton administration, is expected to be tapped to be chief of staff to second lady-elect Jill Biden.
Russell is married to Clinton-era State Department chief of staff Tom Donilon, who is now heading the Obama-Biden State Department transition team, along with another former State Department counselor, Wendy Sherman.
Oddly enough, Donilon and Sherman, each mentioned in political circles as a possible choice for deputy secretary of state, have ties to Fannie Mae, an organization the Obama transition is especially antsy about. Their connection to Fannie Mae wasn't mentioned in the Obama transition announcement Thursday about their jobs on the transition team. Donilon was senior vice president and general counsel to the mortgage giant from 1999 to 2005.
Sherman was more removed from the core Fannie Mae operation, having been in charge of its charitable foundation in 1996 and 1997.
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