At a Glance
- Career History:
Joseph R. Biden's
Transition Team (since November 2008); Senior adviser to the
-Biden presidential campaign (2008); Chief of Staff for
Joseph R. Biden
(1973 to 1994)
- Birthday: March 15, 1939
- Hometown: Born in Philadelphia, Pa., and lives in Wilmington, Del.
- Alma Mater: Duke University, B.S., 1960; University of Pennsylvania, MBA, 1966
- Spouse: Lynn
- Religion: Catholic
- DC Office: G11 Dirksen Senate Office Building, 202-224-5042
- State Office: Wilmington, 302-573-6345; Milford, 302-424-8090
- Web site
Path to Power
Kaufman was born in Wilmington, Del., to Irish Catholic parents. As a child, he worked at city pools to make extra money.
He graduated from Duke University with an engineering degree in 1960. He received his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania in 1966.
In Kaufman's 20 years in the Senate, he has developed an intimate understanding of how Washington works. His challenge will be stepping into the spotlight to assume a public role.
Kaufman helped Biden pass some of his most significant legislation: his landmark 1994 Violent Crime and Control Act, which allocated money for 100,000 new police officers, crime prevention programs, and prisons, and the 1995 Violence Against Women Act, which allocated $1.6 billion to efforts to reduce the number of domestic violence cases.
Kaufman is a central part of Vice President Joseph R. Biden's inner circle of confidantes, who refer to themselves as "the family." He remains close to Valerie Biden Owens, Biden's sister and first campaign adviser; John Marttila, who worked on Biden's first Senate campaign in 1972; and Larry Rasky, Mark Gitenstein, Ron Klain and Thomas E. Donilon, all of whom advised Biden during his 1988 presidential run.
In his time in Washington, he has built close relationships with former Sen. Bill Bradley (D-N.J.), Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), and former Delaware governor and Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.). He will also always have the Vice President's ear.