Robert Bauer

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Robert F. Bauer
White House Counsel
In office
January 3, 2010 – June 30, 2011
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byGreg Craig
Succeeded byKathryn Ruemmler
Personal details
Born (1952-02-22) February 22, 1952 (age 67)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Anita Dunn
EducationHarvard University (BA)
University of Virginia (JD)

Robert F. Bauer (born February 22, 1952) is an American attorney who previously served as White House Counsel under President Barack Obama.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Bauer was raised in a Jewish family[2] and graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1970, from Harvard College in 1973, and received his J.D. degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1976.

White House Counsel[edit]

In November 2009, he was named to be the next White House Counsel,[3] upon the resignation of Gregory Craig.[4] Bauer was President Obama's personal attorney and the general counsel of the Obama for America presidential campaign prior to his appointment as White House Counsel. He has also previously served as the general counsel to the Democratic National Committee,[5] and had advised President Obama since Mr. Obama came to Washington, D.C. in 2005 as U. S. Senator.[6]

As general counsel for the 2008 campaign, Bauer asked the Justice Department to investigate the officers and donors of American Issues Project after it ran a negative ad about Obama.[7]

On Thursday, June 2, 2011, the White House Press Office stated that Bauer would be returning to private practice at Perkins Coie, and that Principal Deputy Counsel to the President Kathryn Ruemmler (his deputy, in that office since January 2010 and before that since January 2009 as Principal Associate Deputy U.S. Attorney General) would succeed him. The position, because it is part of the Executive Office staff that personally advises the President and is not an agency or Cabinet department or military head, does not require Senate confirmation despite the prominence of the office.

Bauer returned to private practice to again represent the president's election team and the Democratic National Committee. "Bob was a critical member of the White House team," Mr. Obama said. "He has exceptional judgment, wisdom, and intellect, and he will continue to be one of my close advisers."

Current Career[edit]

Bauer currently serves as Professor of the Practice and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at NYU School of Law. He teaches classes including “The Role of the Lawyer in Public Life” [8]

Personal life[edit]

Bauer is married to Anita Dunn, the former director of communications at the White House. He has four children, a daughter in-law, a son-in-law, and a grandson.[6] In 2008, Bauer and Dunn were described as Washington's new "power couple" by Newsweek magazine.[9]


  1. ^ "Bob Bauer - Biography | NYU School of Law". Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  2. ^ Sheinman, Anna (October 29, 2012). "Obama helps Jewish Chief of Staff keep Shabbat". The Jewish Chronicle.
  3. ^ Ambindernov, Marc (November 12, 2009). "White House Counsel: Craig Out, Bauer In". The Atlantic.
  4. ^ "U.S. Political News, Opinion and Analysis - HuffPost Politics". Retrieved 2017-01-21.
  5. ^ "Robert (Bob) Bauer | Perkins Coie". Perkins Coie. Retrieved 2017-01-21.
  6. ^ a b Zeleny, Jeff (November 13, 2009). "Craig Steps Down as White House Lawyer". The New York Times. Retrieved November 13, 2009.
  7. ^ Freeman, James. "Cleta Mitchell: How to Investigate the IRS". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2017-01-21.
  8. ^ "NYU School of Law". Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  9. ^ "Power 2009: The New Lineup in Washington". Newsweek. 2008-12-19. Retrieved 2017-01-21.

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Greg Craig
White House Counsel
Succeeded by
Kathryn Ruemmler