WASHINGTON, DC – Louis Caldera has joined the Center for American Progress as a Senior Fellow. In this capacity, Caldera will focus his work on higher education and national security. Caldera has had a distinguished 30-year public service career serving at the local, state and national levels as a soldier, lawyer, legislator, high-ranking government official, university president and law professor.
"I’ve had the opportunity to work with Louis throughout my career – during the Clinton Administration and more recently when he was president of the University of New Mexico and served on CAP’s education task force,” said John Podesta, president and CEO of American Progress. “Louis’s extensive background in higher education and national security policy will help strengthen CAP’s expertise on these issue areas along with our work on immigration reform and economic mobility."
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to join this outstanding group of thinkers and doers who are working to improve the lives of all Americans through the development and implementation of progressive policy ideas,” said Caldera.
Caldera is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and served as a U.S. Army officer in both the active and reserve components. After earning law and business degrees at Harvard University, he practiced in the areas of corporate, banking and public finance law, including with the firm of O’Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles. He subsequently joined the Office of the County Counsel for County of Los Angeles and from 1992-1997 served a member of the California State Assembly.
Caldera joined the Clinton administration in 1997, where he served in two Senate confirmed positions. From 1997 to 1998, he was managing director and chief operating officer for the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal grant-making agency that sponsors the AmeriCorps volunteer service program. From 1998 to 2001 he served in the Department of Defense as the nation’s 17th Secretary of the Army.
Since 2001, Louis has worked in higher education, starting as a vice chancellor for university advancement at the California State University system, then as president of the University of New Mexico and a member of the faculty of the School of Law. Early in 2009, he served in the Obama administration as director of the White House Military Office.
Caldera has served on numerous corporate and nonprofit boards and commissions, including the Renewing our Schools, Securing our Future National Task Force on Public Education, a joint initiative of the Center for American Progress and the Institute for America’s Future. He also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Claremont McKenna College and The Tomás Rivera Policy Institute, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.