Tom previously served as Assistant to the President and Principal Deputy National Security Advisor. He also chaired the Obama-Biden transition at the US Department of State and headed President Obama’s general election debate preparation effort during the 2008 campaign.
Tom has worked closely with and advised three US presidents since his first position at the White House in 1977, working with President Carter. He was Assistant Secretary of State and Chief of Staff at the US Department of State during the Clinton administration. In this capacity, he was responsible for the development and implementation of the department’s major policy initiatives, including NATO expansion, the Dayton Peace Accords, and the Middle East peace process.
He has received the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award, the National Intelligence Distinguished Public Service Medal, the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award, and the CIA’s Director’s Award.
Tom also previously served as Executive Vice President for Law and Policy at Fannie Mae where he was responsible for Fannie Mae’s legal, regulatory, government affairs, and public policy issues.
His return to the firm in 2014 began the fourth installment of his practice at O’Melveny. He started his legal career as an associate at the firm in 1985 and, before joining the Obama Administration in 2009, practiced as a partner representing clients on a range of sensitive governance, legal, regulatory, and policy matters. He also served as the national partner charged with overseeing the firm’s public interest and pro bono initiatives and led the firm’s successful effort to revitalize its pro bono commitment.
Tom is a member of the CIA External Advisory Board and the Defense Policy Board. He is also a distinguished fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a non-resident senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, a member of the Aspen Strategy Group and the Trilateral Commission, and an Honorary Trustee at the Brookings Institution.
Tom lives in Washington, DC, with his wife Cathy Russell, and his children Sarah (20) and Teddy (17). Ms. Russell is Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues at the US Department of State.