Christine Varney

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"antitrust enforcer"
Person.png Christine Varney   Prabook WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(lawyer, lobbyist)
Washington D.C., U.S.
Alma materState University of New York (Albany), Syracuse University, Georgetown University
SpouseThomas Graham
Member ofCouncil on Foreign Relations/Members 3
US revolving door lawyer lobbyist. Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division under Barack Obama. Attended Bilderberg/2010 and Bilderberg/2011.

Employment.png White House Cabinet Secretary

In office
January 20, 1993 - October 14, 1994

Christine A. Varney is a revolving-door American attorney and official who was Federal Trade commissioner and White House Cabinet Secretary in the Clinton Administration, and U.S. assistant attorney general of the Antitrust Division for the Obama Administration. Since August 2011, Varney has been a partner of the New York law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore (average salary 3.1 million), where she chairs the antitrust department.

In 2009 The DC Examiner observed:

Washington lobbyist Christine Varney is poised to take her third pass through the revolving door of lobbying and government with her nomination by President Barack Obama to be his administration’s top antitrust enforcer...As with most of the at least 14 former lobbyists nominated or hired by Obama, Varney and Douglas appear to be not covered by his executive order restricting the official activities of former lobbyists.[1]

Early life and education

Varney was born in Washington, D.C. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from University at Albany, SUNY in 1977. As an undergraduate, she studied abroad at Trinity College, Dublin. She later earned a Master of Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University,[2] and a Juris Doctor from Georgetown Law School.[3]

Early career and Clinton administration

Varney joined the firm Hogan & Hartson out of law school, where she worked on Netscape’s behalf, asking the Clinton administration to prosecute Microsoft for antitrust violations.

Varney was general counsel to the Democratic National Committee from 1989 to 1992; chief counsel to the Bill Clinton 1992 presidential campaign, and general counsel to the 1992 Presidential Inaugural Committee.[4]

She then joined the Clinton administration in various jobs, including as White House Cabinet Secretary and as a member of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) from October 17, 1994 to August 5, 1997, before rejoining Hogan & Hartson where she lobbied on behalf of the Online Privacy Alliance.[5]

In the fourth quarter of 2008, Hogan & Hartson had more than 125 lobbying clients, including Ford and General Motors. [5]

Assistant Attorney General (AAG)

Varney was a fundraiser for the Hillary Clinton campaign during the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries and the 2016 Democratic Party presidential primaries.[6] Following the election of President Barack Obama, in 2009, Varney became personnel counsel on the Obama–Biden Transition Project.[7]

Varney was nominated for the position of Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice in February 2009, and confirmed by the Senate on April 20, 2009.[8][9][10]

She was proponent of easing biotechnology regulations.[11]

On August 4, 2011, Varney resigned her position at the Justice Department;[12][13] Evan Chesler, the presiding partner at Cravath, then recruited Varney to join the firm, which she did, in September 2011, when average partner pay at the firm was 3.1 million.[14] Varney is only the fourth outsider recruited to be named a partner at the firm in 50 years.[15] There, Varney has advised clients on mergers across various industries, including acquisitions of Time Warner by ATT, Virgin Atlantic by Delta, Talenti by Unilever, Pinnacle by Conagra, and Heinz by Kraft[16]

Post-AAG career

Varney joined the faculty of Columbia Law School as a lecturer in Law in 2017, and teached the course Antitrust in Action, alongside Cravath partner and author David Marriot.[17]


Events Participated in

Bilderberg/20103 June 20106 June 2010Spain
Hotel Dolce Sitges
The 122 guests met in the Hotel Dolce Sitges, Barcelona, Spain.
Bilderberg/20119 June 201112 June 2011Switzerland
Hotel Suvretta
St. Moritz
59th meeting, in Switzerland, 129 guests


  5. a b
  13. "Assistant Attorney General Varney Announces Departure from Antitrust Division", Department of Justice, July 6, 2011. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  16. "New York’s competition bar", "Americas", by Faaez Samadi, Global Competition Review (GCR), Volume 16, Issue 10, page 11, October 28, 2015. Retrieved June 2, 2019.