Kenneth Duberstein

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Person.png Kenneth Duberstein  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(civil servant)
Portraits of Assistants to President Ronald Reagan (cropped10).jpg
BornApril 21, 1944
Brooklyn, New York, USA
Alma materPoly Prep Country Day School, Franklin and Marshall College, American University
SpouseJacqueline Duberstein
President Ronald Reagan's White House Chief of Staff from 1988 to 1989.

Employment.png White House Chief of Staff Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
July 1, 1988 - January 20, 1989
Succeeded byJohn H. Sununu

Employment.png White House Deputy Chief of Staff

In office
February 27, 1987 - July 1, 1988
BossHoward Baker

Kenneth M. Duberstein served as U.S. President Ronald Reagan's White House Chief of Staff from 1988 to 1989.

Life and career

Duberstein was born to a Jewish family[1][2] in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from Poly Prep Country Day School and Franklin and Marshall College (A.B. 1965) and American University (M.A. 1966). He received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Franklin and Marshall in 1989. While in college he was a member of Zeta Beta Tau. He is married to Jacqueline Duberstein and has four children.[3]

During Reagan's two terms in office, he served as White House Chief of Staff (1988–1989), as well as both the Assistant and the Deputy Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs (1981–83). Duberstein is said to be the first Jewish-American appointed as White House Chief of Staff.

Prior to joining the Administration, he was Vice President and Director of Business-Government Relations of the Committee for Economic Development. He returned to the private sector between his various White House assignments as Vice President of lobbying firm Timmons & Company.[4]

His earlier government service included Deputy Under Secretary of Labor during the Ford Administration and Director of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. General Services Administration. He began his public service on Capitol Hill as an assistant to Senator Jacob K. Javits.

Among the boards of directors on which Duberstein serves are: The Boeing Company, ConocoPhillips, the Fleming Companies, Inc., and The St. Paul Companies, Inc.[5] He also is on the Board of Governors for the American Stock Exchange and NASD, and has served on the Board of Directors of Fannie Mae.[6] He serves on the advisory board for Washington, DC based non-profit government propaganda arm America Abroad Media.[7][8]

Prior to 1987, Duberstein served on the Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad. He was succeeded in that position by Betty Heitman, the co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee from 1983 to 1987.[9]

In January 1989, Duberstein was awarded the President's Citizens Medal by President Reagan.[10] He is chairman of the Ethics Committee for the U.S. Olympic Committee and served as vice chairman of the independent Special Bid Oversight Reform Commission for the U.S. Olympics Committee. He also appeared on Bloomberg alongside John Podesta.[citation needed]

Duberstein has been a "political adviser" to former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, according to syndicated columnist Robert Novak, who says Duberstein was a source for David Corn's and Michael Isikoff's book about the Valerie Plame affair in which Armitage was found to be the one who leaked Plame's CIA status to Novak.[11]

In an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria aired November 2, 2008, Duberstein announced his support of Democratic candidate Barack Obama for president. This came after he was rebuffed by Sen. John McCain, the GOP nominee, for the position of director of his presidential transition, according to ABC News.[12][13][14][15]

Duberstein was also a consultant on The West Wing episodes "2162 Votes" and "Separation of Powers".

Duberstein has been hired by Russian authorities, via Goldman Sachs (an international investment banking firm), to lobby against the Magnitsky Bill (as known as the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act), a bill in the U.S. Congress "to impose sanctions on persons responsible for the detention, abuse, or death of Sergei Magnitsky, and for other gross violations of human rights in the Russian Federation".[16][17]

In 2013, Duberstein was a signatory to an amicus curiae brief submitted to the Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage in the Hollingsworth v. Perry case.[18] His position succeeded, as the court would go on to effectively legalize same-sex marriage in California.

Personal life

He is married to Jacqueline Fain; and has four children from a previous marriage: Jennifer, Jeff, Andy, and Samantha.[19][20]


  1. Tablet Magazine: "Talking to W’s Chief of Staff - At the GOP convention, Josh Bolten reminisces about introducing President Bush to shmurah matzo" By Yair Rosenberg August 30, 2012.
  4. =
  8. Three New Directors Join The St. Paul Companies Board, The Travelers Companies, Inc
  12. 31, 2008
  16. BANK OF PUTIN. Goldman Sachs lobbying against human rights legislation
  17. Unlawful Arrest by Vladimir Abarinov
  19. National Institute for Civil Discourse: "Kenneth M. Duberstein - Former White House Chief of Staff, Ronald Reagan" retrieved October 15, 2016.
  20. Washington Life: "Friends by Design" by Jackie Duberstein June 2007.
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