ND in DC: Alumni and faculty serving the nation

Author: Dennis Brown

United States Capitol building, Washington D.C. (Photo by Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame)

The 117th U.S. Congress and the incoming administration of President Joe Biden have brought several University of Notre Dame alumni and faculty to Washington, D.C., in service to the nation.

Four Notre Dame graduates were sworn in Jan. 3 as members of the House of Representatives:

  • Rep. Brendan Boyle, a 1999 alumnus and a Democrat representing the 2nd District of Pennsylvania
  • Rep. Warren Davidson, a 2005 alumnus and a Republican representing Ohio’s 8th Congressional District
  • Rep. Pat Fallon, a 1990 alumnus and a Republican from the 4th District of Texas
  • Rep. Mike Kelly, a 1970 alumnus and a Republican representing Pennsylvania’s 16th District

Two long-serving congressmen who graduated from Notre Dame — Rep. Peter King,  R-N.Y., and Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Ind., — did not seek re-election. Another alumnus, former Rep. John Ratcliffe of Texas, relinquished his House seat after confirmation last May as director of national intelligence. Fallon won that seat in November.

The White House. Photo by David Everett Strickler.
The White House. Photo by David Everett Strickler.

Biden has nominated two Notre Dame faculty members to Cabinet positions — Pete Buttigieg, a 2020-21 faculty fellow in the University’s Institute for Advanced Study, as secretary of transportation, and Denis McDonough, a professor of the practice of public policy in the Keough School of Global Affairs, as secretary of veterans affairs.

Tona Boyd, a 2003 alumna, has been appointed special counsel in the Office of the White House Counsel, and Ryan Montoya, a 1996 graduate, will serve as the director of scheduling and advance for Vice President Kamala Harris. Brian McKeon, a 1985 alumnus, has been nominated to serve as deputy secretary of state for management and resources.

Another prominent Notre Dame voice in Washington is that of alumna and law school professor Amy Coney Barrett, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Editor's note: Other nominations and appointments of people associated with Notre Dame since this story was published on Jan. 19 include:

  • Rachel Palermo, third-year Notre Dame Law School student, has been appointed assistant press secretary to Vice President Harris.
  • Kent Logsdon, a 1983 alumnus, was nominated ambassador to Moldova