Bolten, Joshua B.

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BOLTEN, JOSHUA B. (1954– ), director of the Office of Management and Budget and a member of George W. Bush's cabinet from June 2003. Bolten was born in Washington, dc, and received his B.A. with distinction from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs (1976) and his J.D. from Stanford Law School (1980), where he was an editor of the Stanford Law Review. Immediately after law school, he served as a law clerk at the U.S. District Court in San Francisco. During the fall semester of 1993, Bolten taught international trade at Yale Law School.

During the administration of President George H.W. Bush, Bolten served for three years as general counsel to the U.S. trade representative and one year in the White House as deputy assistant to the president for legislative affairs. During the Reagan administration from 1985 to 1989, he worked on Capitol Hill, where he was international trade counsel to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, working closely with Senator Robert Packwood (r-or.). Earlier, Bolten was in private law practice with O'Melveny & Myers, and worked in the legal office of the U.S. State Department. He also served as executive assistant to the director of the Kissinger Commission on Central America. From 1993, he was executive director, legal and government affairs, for Goldman Sachs International in London.

Bolten joined the Bush campaign during the primary season and from March 1999 through the November 2000 election served as policy director of the campaign. His transition to the administration as assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff for policy at the White House was seamless. Bolten is considered a Bush loyalist who views his job as advancing the President's agenda of tax cuts and private Social Security investment accounts for younger Americans. He is that rare cabinet member who is more comfortable working behind the scenes where he is regarded as most effective; he avoids the limelight and the press wherever possible. As the highest-ranking Jew in the Bush administration, he handled some specifically Jewish assignments within the administration – public and private – working closely with the Jewish liaison, appearing at the national Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony, and taking a personal, familial interest in the *Holocaust Memorial Museum. In April 2006 Bolten became chief of staff to President George W. Bush, the first Jew to hold that office and thus the highest-ranking Jew in the history of the White House.

His father, seymour bolten (1917–85), was believed to be the highest-ranking Jew among known cia agents of his time. An authority on international drug trafficking, he was a special adviser to the White House on narcotics and a senior adviser on law enforcement policy at the Department of Treasury (1981–85). At the White House, he staffed the President's Commission on the Holocaust for President Jimmy *Carter.

[Michael Berenbaum (2nd ed.)]