Geovette Washington volunteering on Biden transition team

Geovette Washington, Pitt’s chief legal officer, has been picked to lead an agency review of the Department of Commerce for the Biden transition team.

Chancellor Patrick Gallagher said at the Senate Council meeting on Nov. 12 that Washington will be using vacation time to volunteer with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team.

Jennifer Seng, deputy chief legal officer, is overseeing the Office of University Counsel in her absence, and Tom Hitter is assuming Washington’s duties on the Resilience Steering Committee.

Washington has been at Pitt since 2015. She previously served as deputy general counsel for the Department of Commerce from 2010-13 and general counsel and senior policy advisor for the Office of Management and Budget from 2013-15 for the Obama administration.

She will lead a 21-person team of volunteers that also will review the Export-Import Bank. According to Biden-Harris transition website, agency review teams are “responsible for understanding the operations of each agency, ensuring a smooth transfer of power, and preparing for President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris and their cabinet to hit the ground running on Day One.”

An Inside Education article on Nov. 13 noted that the Biden team is leaning heavily on college professors and administrators during the transition. It calculated that of the nearly 600 volunteers on the agency review teams, 80 are professors. Chris Goranson, professor in Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, is on the team reviewing the Department of Interior, along with the National Indian Gaming Commission, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the Commission on Fine Arts, the Denali Commission, the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Delta Regional Authority, and the Northern Border Regional Commission.

— Susan Jones


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