Anschutz Distinguished Fellow Jeff Shesol was deputy director of presidential speech writing in the Clinton White House, managing a staff of six. From 1998 to 2001, Shesol wrote on virtually every issue on the President’s agenda, from global trade to the federal budget, from international financial architecture to information technology, from economic development to the arts. In his final year at the White House, he coordinated the policy, communications strategy, and drafting process for the State of the Union Address, of which he was principal author.
Shesol ran the “Comedy War Room” that drafted remarks for the Gridiron Club and White House Correspondents Dinners. He led the team that conceived, wrote, and directed the Clinton comedy video, “The Final Days,” in April 2000.
Before arriving at the White House, Shesol authored Mutual Contempt: Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy and the Feud that Defined a Decade (W.W. Norton), a New York Times Notable Book and a Washington Post Critic’s Choice. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., called Mutual Contempt “the most gripping political book of recent years.” From 1994 to 1998, Shesol also wrote, illustrated and syndicated a political comic strip, “Thatch,” which appeared daily in more than 150 newspapers.
A Rhodes Scholar, Shesol received an M.Phil. in British political history from Oxford University in 1993, and a B.A. from Brown University in 1991. He is the Anschutz Distinguished Fellow in American Studies at Princeton University for 2001-02.