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Juliette Kayyem becomes 2nd former Obama official to run for Mass. governor

Juliette Kayyem, left, is a former journalist and Obama official now running for Massachusetts governor as a Democrat. (Credit: Harvard University) Juliette Kayyem is a former journalist and Obama official now running for Massachusetts governor as a Democrat. (Harvard University)

Juliette Kayyem, a former Boston Globe columnist and Obama administration homeland security official, announced Wednesday that she is seeking the Democratic nomination for Massachusetts governor.

“My motivation is what motivates every person in Massachusetts: to protect and strengthen our families and communities,” Kayyem said in a statement. “Ultimately, this is our common calling. Whether the challenge comes from economic hardship, violence, illness, global climate change or the increasingly complex world our children will inherit, the measure of us as a people comes down to how well we prepare and protect each other.”

Kayyem, who served as the Department of Homeland Security's assistant secretary for intergovernmental affairs before opining on national security and foreign affairs for the Globe, is the second former Obama aide seeking the state's Democratic gubernatorial nomination. Donald M. Berwick, who served as administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services during the president's first term but failed to win Senate confirmation due to GOP opposition, is also running, along with state Treasurer Steven Grossman, state Sen. Daniel A. Wolf and biotech executive and physician Joseph Avellone.

Kayyem, who received both her BA and JD from Harvard University, is a mother of three and lives in Cambridge. Before working for Obama, she served as undersecretary for Homeland Security for Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D), who is not seeking another term.

Juliet Eilperin is The Washington Post's White House bureau chief, covering domestic and foreign policy as well as the culture of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. She is the author of two books—one on sharks, and another on Congress, not to be confused with each other—and has worked for the Post since 1998.

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