Danielle C. Gray

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Danielle C. Gray
Danielle Gray.jpg
White House Cabinet Secretary
In office
January 25, 2013 – January 13, 2014
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byChris Lu
Succeeded byBroderick Johnson
Personal details
Born1977/1978 (age 40–41)[1]
Riverhead, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationDuke University (BA)
Harvard University (JD)

Danielle Gray is the former Assistant to the President, Cabinet Secretary, and a Senior Advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama. Previously, Gray served as Deputy Director of the National Economic Council and Deputy Assistant to the President for Economic Policy. Newsweek called her "the most powerful White House staffer you've never heard of."[2]

Early life[edit]

A native of Riverhead, New York,[3] Danielle Gray graduated from Duke University and in 2003 from Harvard Law School,[4] where she served as an editor of Harvard Law Review and was voted by her classmates "most likely to be a Supreme Court justice."[5]


Danielle Gray worked as a law clerk for Judge Merrick Garland on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. She also worked as a law clerk for Justice Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court of the United States.[6]

Gray worked on the policy and research staff of then State Senator Barack Obama's 2004 campaign for United States Senate. She was also an early member of U.S. Senator Obama's campaign for President, working as Deputy National Policy Director for the Obama for America Presidential Campaign in 2007-2008.[7]

Obama administration[edit]

After assisting with President Barack Obama's transition to office, Gray was appointed as Special Assistant to the President and Associate Counsel to the President in the Office of White House Counsel.[4] There she provided legal advice on key domestic and economic policy issues facing the administration. She also worked on judicial nominations, including the confirmations of Justice Sotomayor and Justice Kagan.[8] Gray later moved to the Department of Justice, where she served as Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division.[9] In this role she focused on constitutional challenges to federal statutes, policies, and agency actions and helped guide the legal strategy of the Obama Administration.[7] Gray is also recognized as one of the lawyers who helped pass and ensure that the Affordable Care Act was upheld.[8] Gray returned to the White House in early 2011 upon her appointment as Deputy Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council. As Deputy to National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling, Gray oversaw and developed policies related to a range of economic issues facing the country. Gray remained in this role until January 2013, when she was appointed Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary, a position previously occupied by Chris Lu.[10] Recognized as a "rising superstar in the Obama administration" and "an instrumental force in driving the president's second term agenda," longtime White House advisor Gene Sperling says, "Danielle is the rare brand of intellectual powerhouse, policy strategist and doer's doer that will put her on the short-list for cabinet level jobs for Democratic presidents for the next four decades [...] That's a guarantee, not a prediction."[8]

Gray left her post as Cabinet Secretary in January 2014.[11] She is now a partner at O'Melveny & Myers LLP.[12]


  1. ^ Danielle Gray, the Internal Diplomat
  2. ^ "The Internal Diplomat". Newsweek. September 12, 2013. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  3. ^ "Riverhead High School grad transitions with Obama". The Riverhead News-Review. April 12, 2008. Archived from the original on March 2, 2012. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Harvard Law Review: "HLS alumni and faculty join ranks of new administration".
  5. ^ "Gray and Green Appointed White House Counsel".
  6. ^ "President Obama Announces Key Additions to the Office of the White House Counsel". White House. January 28, 2009. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
  7. ^ a b "White House Profile - Danielle Gray". White House.
  8. ^ a b c Brzezinski, Mika (February 6, 2013). "Women of Value: Danielle Gray". Retrieved May 25, 2013.
  9. ^ "Spotlight on HLS Alumni". OPIA Blog. Archived from the original on 2015-05-18.
  10. ^ "President Obama Announces Key White House Posts". White House.
  11. ^ "Statement by the President on the Departure of Danielle Gray". Office of the Press Secretary. whitehouse.gov. Retrieved April 12, 2014.
  12. ^ http://www.omm.com/newsroom/News.aspx?news=3475
Political offices
Preceded by
Chris Lu
White House Cabinet Secretary
Succeeded by
Broderick Johnson