Kudos + congrats to friend of the blog Ted Widmer, who is taking on two new roles (via the BDH):
Ted Widmer, director and librarian of the John Carter Brown Library, earned two new positions yesterday — he will serve as assistant for special projects to President Christina Paxson and as senior adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to a University news release. Widmer will divide his time between the two roles — advising Paxson on various initiatives, including planning commemorations of the University’s 250th anniversary and providing analysis for the U.S. State Department.
“I would just say that I’m excited to be taking on some new challenges, and proud to be at Brown,” Widmer wrote in an email to The Herald. He could not be reached for a longer comment because of a commitment in Washington.
Widmer will leave his role as director and librarian Sept. 21 but will continue to serve as adjunct professor in the University’s Department of History.
“Professor Widmer is a gifted writer and historian who is attractive to the State Department because he can place current events in a historical context,” Provost Mark Schlissel P’15 told The Herald.
Before assuming his current post at the JCB in 2006, Widmer was the director of the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College for five years. From 1997 to 2001, he served as a foreign policy speechwriter for President Bill Clinton. Widmer has a long history with the University — his father, Eric Widmer, was a professor of Chinese history as well as the University’s dean of student life and dean of admission in the 1980s and ’90s.
Schlissel said Widmer’s experience as a historian will enable him to aid Paxson’s team by preparing significant written material on the University’s history for the 250th anniversary celebrations in 2014. “President Paxson would like help with messages surrounding Brown’s 250th anniversary,” Schissel said. “We hope Ted contributes significantly to those efforts.”
Widmer will devote a substantial number of hours to working with Hillary Clinton for the next five months before she steps down as secretary of state at the end of President Obama’s first term in office, said Schlissel, who added that Widmer will still remain at the University full-time “at least through the coming years.”
Widmer was previously a speechwriter for Bill Clinton and a member of the cult-fave Upper Crust rock band.