Ann M. O'Leary
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Ann M. O'Leary
Ann O'Leary
Ann O'Leary speaks in front of a podium
Personal details
Born 1971/1972 (age 46-47)
Orono, Maine, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Goodwin Liu (m. 2002; separated 2016)
Children 2
Residence Oakland, California, U.S.
Alma mater Mount Holyoke College (BA)
Stanford University (MA)
University of California, Berkeley (JD)

Ann M. O'Leary (born 1971 or 1972)[1] is an American political advisor, lawyer, and nonprofit leader who specializes in early childhood education. She worked in the Bill Clinton administration and for Hillary Clinton during her time as First Lady, Senate career, and 2008 and 2016 presidential campaigns. She served in leadership positions at various nonprofit organizations that focus on early childhood education, including Next Generation and the Opportunity Institute. After Clinton's unsuccessful 2016 presidential campaign, O'Leary became a lawyer at the Palo Alto office of the law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner.

Early life and education

O'Leary was born and raised in Orono, Maine.[2] She is the daughter of Charles John "Chick" O'Leary, a union leader who served as president of the Maine AFL-CIO from 1978 to 1998, and Pamela Braley O'Leary, a social worker.[3] After graduating from Orono High School,[4] O'Leary attended Mount Holyoke College, where she was a part of the cross country team and a member of the College Democrats.[5]

She earned a B.A. in critical social thought in 1993 from Mount Holyoke College,[6] an M.A. in education from the Stanford Graduate School of Education in 1997, and a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 2005.[1] She is of Irish descent.[7]


Bill Clinton presidency and Hillary Clinton Senate career

Ann O'Leary

O'Leary began her career working in the Clinton administration, volunteering to clip news articles.[5] She later worked as a Special Assistant to the President at the White House Domestic Policy Council,[8] where she was in charge of children and family policy.[5] She also advised First Lady Hillary Clinton, acting as a liaison between Hillary Clinton's and President Bill Clinton's policy teams.[9] In an August 2000 memo to Bill Clinton's Domestic Policy Adviser Bruce Reed, O'Leary urged the government to consider an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, similar to one issued in 1941 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt banning them from race-based discrimination.[9] From 2001 to 2003, O'Leary was Hillary Clinton's Senate aide and legislative director;[5][10] she helped oversee the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act.[1]

2008 and 2016 presidential campaigns

O'Leary was a volunteer for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign.[6] After President Barack Obama was elected, O'Leary advised his transition team on early childhood education.[11] During the 2016 campaign, O'Leary worked as an advisor to Hillary Clinton on health and education.[12][13] For her role in the campaign, Politico Magazine named O'Leary to its 2015 "Politico 50," its list of people transforming American politics in 2015.[14] In August 2016, O'Leary joined Clinton's planned transition team in Washington, D.C,[15][16] becoming the co-executive director.[17]

Nonprofit and legal work

O'Leary was the senior vice president and director of the Children and Families Program at Next Generation, an education advocacy organization started by Tom Steyer.[18][19] Next Generation partnered with the Clinton Foundation to start the Too Small to Fail initiative, which was led by O'Leary, encouraging scientific research and guiding parents on health and brain development from infancy to early childhood.[20] After leaving Next Generation, she co-founded the Opportunity Institute, a nonprofit organization focusing on promoting educational equality, with civil rights advocate and former UC Berkeley School of Law dean Christopher Edley.[21] Previously, O'Leary served as founding executive director of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law's Center on Health, Economic & Family Security program.[13] After the 2016 election, O'Leary joined the Palo Alto office of the New York-based law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner, becoming a partner.[22]


In 2002, O'Leary married Goodwin Liu, an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California.[23]a They live in Oakland and have two children: a daughter, Violet, and a son, Emmett.[3][23] On August 30, 2016, O'Leary and Liu announced in a joint statement that they were separating.[24]


a.^ "Liu and his wife of eight years, Ann O'Leary...."


  1. ^ a b c Easton, Nina (June 2, 2015). "Meet the wonk shaping Hillary Clinton's plans for the country". Fortune. Retrieved 2017. 
  2. ^ Tipping, Mike (October 31, 2016). "The woman who could bring Maine values to the White House". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "Charles John "Chick," "Charlie," O'Leary Jr". Bangor Daily News. January 14, 2014. Retrieved 2015. 
  4. ^ Cousins, Christopher (April 15, 2015). "Maine woman hired as one of Hillary Clinton's three senior advisers". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c d Sandler, Lauren (April 14, 2015). "Paid Leave Takes a Place on Hillary Clinton's Platform". The New Republic. Retrieved 2017. 
  6. ^ a b Kertscher, Tom (October 12, 2016). "The visionary work of Ann O'Leary '93". Mount Holyoke College Alumnae Association. Retrieved 2017. 
  7. ^ "Congressional Record--Senate: Executive Session" (PDF). Congressional Record. May 18, 2011. Retrieved 2017. Liu uses a wedding photo that shows him and his new bride, Ann O'Leary, the Irish American daughter of a social worker and union leader from Orono, ME. 
  8. ^ "Domestic Policy Council: Staff". National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved 2015. 
  9. ^ a b Gerstein, Josh (April 10, 2015). "In Bill Clinton White House, Hillary Clinton's staff helped push on gay rights". Politico. Retrieved 2015. 
  10. ^ Lombardi, Kristen (February 13, 2007). "While Schumer Slept". The Village Voice. Retrieved 2017. "Schumer was happy to support the effort," says Ann O'Leary, Clinton's legislative director in D.C. from 2001 to 2003. 
  11. ^ Bidwell, Allie (June 18, 2015). "Bridging the Democratic Divide". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 2017. 
  12. ^ Nather, David (April 14, 2015). "Hillary Clinton names top three wonks for campaign". Politico. Retrieved 2015. 
  13. ^ a b Harris, Richard (July 29, 2016). "What About Health Care and Alzheimer's?". Next Avenue. Retrieved 2017. 
  14. ^ "Heather Boushey, Ann O'Leary". Politico. 2015. Retrieved 2017. 
  15. ^ Flegenheimer, Matt (August 16, 2016). "Hillary Clinton Puts White House Transition Team in Place". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017. 
  16. ^ Cohn, Jonathan (September 21, 2016). "The Future of America Is Being Written in This Tiny Office". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017. O'Leary is now leading the official transition operation in Washington. 
  17. ^ Strauss, Valerie (November 3, 2016). "Who will be the next U.S. education secretary?". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2017. 
  18. ^ Haberman, Maggie (March 24, 2015). "Hillary Clinton Caught Between Dueling Forces on Education: Teachers and Wealthy Donors". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017. 
  19. ^ Arellano, Joe. "Ann O'Leary Appointed Director of Children and Families Program". Next Generation. Retrieved 2015. 
  20. ^ Teicher Khadaroo, Stacy (June 14, 2013). "Hillary Clinton's next big thing? Early childhood project called 'Too Small.'". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2017. 
  21. ^ Freedberg, Louis (February 17, 2016). "New institute focused on educational opportunity opens in Berkeley". EdSource. Retrieved 2017. 
  22. ^ Megerian, Chris (January 18, 2017). "Former Hillary Clinton policy advisor heads to Silicon Valley". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2017. 
  23. ^ a b Egelko, Bob (March 14, 2010). "Obama nominee Goodwin Liu an unassuming man". SFGate. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2017. 
  24. ^ Matier, Phil; Ross, Andy (August 31, 2016). "Clinton adviser, state justice in marital split--enter Jane Kim". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2017. 

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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