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Newsmakers
 
 
 
Julius Genachowski ’85CC
Columbians in charge

President Barack Obama ’83CC announced in early March that he’ll nominate technology executive Julius Genachowski ’85CC as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission; Genachowski, if confirmed, will join several other Columbians hired recently for important jobs inside the Capital Beltway… Trevor W. Morrison ’98LAW, a Columbia law professor who specializes in constitutional law, has been appointed associate White House counsel to the president… Jeh C. Johnson ’82LAW, previously an attorney in private practice, has been named general counsel of the Department of Defense... Donald Verrilli ’83LAW, a prominent litigator who has argued many cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, is now associate deputy attorney general at the Department of Justice. He works there for U.S. Attorney General and University Trustee Eric Holder ’73CC, ’76LAW, who recently nominated Lanny A. Breuer ’80CC, ’85LAW as assistant attorney general in charge of the DOJ’s criminal unit… Katie Stanton ’95SIPA, meanwhile, has joined the White House staff as director of citizen participation… Jared Bernstein ’94SW, Vice President Joseph Biden’s economic policy advisor, has been named executive director of the White House Task Force on the Middle Class.
 

 
 

Those who teach, do

Two faculty members of the School of the Arts Writing Division have been nominated for prestigious literary awards. Brenda Wineapple, author of White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson & Thomas Wentworth Higginson (Knopf, 2008), is one of five finalists for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award in biography. Among another quintet of finalists was Rivka Galchen ’06SOA, whose novel, Atmospheric Disturbances (Farrar, Straus and Groux, 2008), was nominated for New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award.

 
 

Xavier Rolet ’84BUS  
Changing fortunes

The London Stock Exchange Group PLC named Xavier Rolet ’84BUS its chief executive in February. Rolet, a French national who speaks five languages, previously led Lehman Brothers in France... Robert Curry ’70GS, ’76BUS told the Stamford Advocate on February 28 that the economic downturn is causing many professionals to seek help for substance abuse at the drug treatment center he runs for senior executives in New Canaan, Connecticut: “These are men and women not used to being broke and used to being in control,” Curry says. “They have been able to manage their substance abuse issues, but now this added pressure has made it unmanageable.”

 
 
Diane Paulus ’97SOA
Freak shows

For those who still can’t get enough of 1968, a revival of HAIR: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical is now on Broadway, directed by Diane Paulus ’97SOA. Paulus, who is artistic director of the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts, helmed HAIR’s extended run at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park last summer… In a recent South African production of the new play Freak Country, inspired by current events in Zimbabwe, Jeremiah Mofokeng ’91SOA played Colonel Moyanga, a character patterned on Robert Mugabe.
 

 
 

Great scientists club
Maya Tolstoy  

Columbia associate professor of engineering Xi Chen recently won the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for explaining basic engineering principles that determine the shapes of fruits and vegetables… Columbia marine geophysicist Maya Tolstoy was given the 2009 Women of Discovery Sea Award by the New York City–based nonprofit, Wings WorldQuest, for her research on undersea hydrothermal systems… V. Faye McNeill, an assistant professor of chemical engineering, received the National Science Foundation Career Award, which will fund her research on the atmospheric chemistry of ice and snow for the next five years… Elmer Gaden ’44SEAS, ’49SEAS was awarded recently the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize from the National Academy of Engineering, an award that comes with $500,000, for research that enabled the large-scale manufacture of antibiotics… Biochemist Mildred Cohn ’38GSAS was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in March for a lifetime of research on metabolic processes.

 

 
 
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