At a Glance
- Career History: Vice President, Business Development and Public Strategy at Alcoa (2008 to 2009); Alcoa vice president, global communications and public strategy (2001 to 2008); White House press secretary (Oct. 2000 to Jan. 2001); Deputy White House press secretary (1999 to 2000)
- Birthday: Feb. 1, 1964
- Hometown: New York City, N.Y.
- Alma Mater: Yale University, B.A. (humanities), 1986
- Spouse: Christine Anderson
- DC Office: 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20220; Phone: (202) 622-2000
- Web site
Path to Power
Siewert was born in New York City to a pair of public school teachers. His mother taught kindergarten, while Siewert's father educated high-school students in social studies.
Siewert used his educational background to excel in school. In 1986, he graduated from Yale University with a bachelor's in the humanities. Siewert then attended Emory University to study comparative literature and philosophy, but he didn't enjoy the subjects enough to stick with it. Instead, he attended the University of California at Berkeley to earn a law degree. Siewert went to the law school for three years, but left before graduating, deciding the law wasn't for him.
By all appearances, Siewert had left politics behind after serving in the Clinton administration. He had a successful career working at Alcoa, and spent his down time helping his wife, Christine Anderson, care for their six-month old newborn son. Despite speculation that he would join the Obama administration with many of his old colleagues and friends, Siewert resisted. But in June 2009, Siewert decided he wouldn't sit on the sidelines any longer in the midst of the pressing economic crisis. As the White House announced that Treasury Communications Director Cutter would move to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Siewert was reportedly finalizing a deal to return to the Treasury as a counselor to Geithner.
Siewert does not need Senate confirmation for the post, and he would join an already large group of informal advisers that include Sperling, his former NEC boss, and auto task force head Ron Bloom. Siewert's services were badly needed at a department that had been criticized for being severely understaffed in the throes of the worst economic crisis since the 1930s.
Siewert served in the Clinton administration alongside many officials that received jobs in the Obama administration. While at the National Economic Council, Siewert worked as NEC Director Gene Sperling's spokesperson. Lael Brainard, who was Sperling's deputy director from 1994 to 2000, will also join Obama's Treasury as under secretary-designate for international affairs. From 1999 to 2000, while Siewert served as the deputy White House press secretary, he worked with Clinton's chief of staff and Obama's transition co-chair John D. Podesta. Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was an aide to President Clinton and is a Siewert friend.
Siewert has donated $4,550, since 2003, all of which has gone to Democratic candidates. In 2003, Siewert donated $1,000 to Rahm Emanuel's congressional race in Illinois. From 2007 to 2008, Siewert donated $2,300 to Hillary Rodham Clinton while she ran for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.