President Obama’s Top Adviser on Urban Policy Going to the University of Chicago

Derek Douglas, who has been serving as senior adviser to President Obama on urban policy, will join the University of Chicago in January as vice president for civic engagement. Since 2009 Douglas has been the Special Assistant to the President for Urban Policy. Previously, he was director of the Washington office of the governor of New York. He also has served as director of the Economic Mobility Program of the Center for American Progress.

Douglas is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where he majored in economics. He earned a law degree at Yale.

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  1. It is understandable that people want to move up the career ladder, but too often they move on before a job is completed. I have no idea what this young man has accomplished as senior advisor on urban policy to President Obama. If he has done little or nothing, perhaps he should move on. On the other hand, if he has been effective, perhaps he should put personal ambitions aside for the good of the people, especially since many urban dwellers are his people. It would appear that his leaving would leave a significant gap to be filled and possibly a restructuring in the middle of a task. Hopefully he will leave some structure that will facilitate continuity in progressive urban policy. I wish him and his successor well. Most of all I hope to see palpable positive changes in our urban communities.

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