Campus adjunct professor Jennifer Granholm considered as possible attorney general


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After Attorney General Eric Holder’s resignation announcement, various news sources shortlisted UC Berkeley adjunct professor and former governor of Michigan Jennifer Granholm as a possible replacement.

Granholm has been the target of appointment speculation from both local and national news outlets, having previously been considered for director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Supreme Court justice and a position in President Barack Obama’s Cabinet. Granholm, however, quashed talk of a Cabinet nomination and publicly declined her consideration for the bureau.

According to Slate Magazine, names mentioned as possible candidates includes California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. and UC President Janet Napolitano. Also mentioned were Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, both of whom have expressed disinterest.

Carole Love, director of communications for Granholm, declined in an email to comment, saying they never speculate on nomination rumors.

Multiple news outlets, including the New York Times, local Michigan news MLive and the International Business Times, have mentioned Granholm as a possible selection. The New York Times included Granholm in a list of the most likely nominees though later quoted the White House as saying the president is “a long way” from making a decision.

Granholm graduated from UC Berkeley before continuing on to Harvard Law School. After working as a federal attorney, she was elected Michigan attorney general in 1998. In 2002, she was elected as the first female governor of Michigan and won a second term in 2006. Before returning to UC Berkeley, she spent much of the 2012 election year as host of Current TV’s the War Room, a news and political commentary show.

She currently serves as a senior adviser of the Ready for Hillary super PAC and holds multiple appointments at UC Berkeley, including at the UC Berkeley School of Law and the Goldman School of Public Policy, and at various research institutions.

“Jennifer is a wonderful link between the very technology-focused research and the policy considerations — thinking about the labor force, thinking about pollution or environmental impacts of manufacturing,” said Camille Crittenden, deputy director of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society.

Granholm heads the American Jobs Project, a program modeled after her work as governor that provides state-level guidance on leveraging the Environmental Protection Agency’s emissions rules in order to create jobs in the clean-energy manufacturing sector.

Goldman School Dean Henry Brady, who co-taught classes with Granholm, said she is well positioned to deal with the demands of the attorney general’s office because of her experience working across the aisle.

“She’s had the kind of background you need to be the attorney general of the U.S.,” Brady said. “She dealt with a Republican legislature — she knows how to deal with partisan issues and has navigated those waters pretty well.”

Contact Isaac Smith at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @IsaacGSmith