Washington, D.C. — John Podesta, founder and director of the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement on the passing of Nancy McFadden:
It is with a heavy heart that I write to mourn the loss of our dear friend Nancy McFadden. Nancy was one of the most remarkable people and one of the most principled public servants I have had the privilege of knowing. Throughout her career, she championed the causes of social, economic, and environmental justice. Her unshakeable commitment to service, progress, and her community shone brightly day in and day out.
At the outset of the Clinton-Gore administration, as a relatively young attorney in a senior position at the U.S. Department of Justice, Nancy taught us all that it was possible to uphold the independence and integrity of the department while working with her colleagues in the White House and across government to advance important policy initiatives on civil rights, community policing, reducing violence against women, and gun safety.
During her tenure at the Department of Justice, the Department of Transportation, and the White House, Nancy was always on the short list of calls you made if you knew you just had to get something done.
We served together at the White House when I was President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff and she was Vice President Al Gore’s deputy chief of staff. It’s pretty easy to get crosswise in a White House three-ring circus where the vice president is running for president, the first lady is running for the Senate, and the president is trying to get as much done as possible while facing an obstinate, Republican-led Congress. But we never did get crosswise because Nancy had the grace and common sense to make all those gears mesh and maintained the loyalty, admiration, and respect of both the Clintons and the Gores.
I got to work officially with Nancy again when I joined the Obama White House, and we worked closely together to coordinate federal-state response to the California drought and to further Gov. Jerry Brown’s ambitious climate and clean energy agenda.
In 2016, Nancy was a proud supporter and invaluable adviser to Hillary and to me in the presidential campaign.
My sweetest memories of Nancy are not about political battles fought or policy successes achieved but of hiking with her and my wife Mary at our place in Truckee in those peaceful, tranquil mountains in the state and country she so loved. My family and the CAP family send our deepest condolences to Nancy’s loved ones, friends, and colleagues who all had the good fortune to know my dear friend.