Where Did Mitt Romney and His Aides Go To College?

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has assembled a staff with a varied background, with many of them educated outside the nation's most famous schools.

By Neil Johnson
Posted 2012

Where Mitt Romney's Staffers Earned Their Degrees
Where Mitt Romney's Staffers Earned Their Degrees

Successful candidates tend to keep key people around who helped win the election, so it’s a good bet most of the top officials in Mitt Romney’s campaign will occupy prominent positions in Washington, D.C., next year if Mitt Romney wins the November election.

And new presidents have a ton of vacant jobs to fill.

So where did Romney’s top officials, who might one day help him run the country, get their education? The following list is culled primarily from the campaign's Website as well as Romney's personal site.

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Mitt Romney. The candidate graduated from Brigham Young University in 1971 and went on to earn a law degree from Harvard Law School and a master’s of business administration from Harvard Business School in 1975.

Paul Ryan. The vice presidential candidate is a native of Wisconsin and currently in his seventh term serving in the United States Congress. Ryan graduated with a degree in economics and political science from Miami University in Ohio.

Campaign Manager Matt Rhoades. Rhoades played a role in President Bush’s 2004 campaign and held several posts in the Bush administration. He graduated from Syracuse University with a bachelor’s degree in 1977 and received a master’s degree from George Washington University in 1999.

Deputy Campaign Manager Katie Packer Gage. Gage worked in Michigan for Romney’s 2008 campaign as an advisor and consultant. She also served in a number of staff positions, many in Michigan. She graduated in 1990 from Evangel University in Springfield, Mo., a liberal arts college affiliated with the Assemblies of God.

Senior Advisor Beth Myers. A veteran Romney aide, Myers was his chief of staff as governor of Massachusetts, managed his 2008 campaign and was in charge of his Commonwealth PAC. She also is a principal at the Shawmut Group, a public affairs consulting company. She graduated from Tufts University in Boston in 1979, the Romney site said. A story on washingtonpost.com said the degree was in English. The shawmutgroup.com site said Myers received a law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law.

Senior Advisor Peter G. Flaherty II. Another advisor on Romney’s 2008 campaign, Flaherty was his deputy chief of staff as governor. He also is a principal at the Shawmut Group. He received a bachelor’s degree in economics from College of the Holy Cross in Worchester, Mass., in 1987 and graduated from the New England School of Law in 1997. He was a former assistant district attorney in Boston.

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Senior Advisor Eric Fehrnstrom. A former reporter in Boston, Fehrnstrom was Romney’s traveling press secretary for the 2008 campaign. He is a third principal of the Shawmut Group and its site said he worked as Romney’s communications director. He also was senior vice president of an advertising agency from 1999 to 2002. He graduated in 1984 from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

Communications Director Gail Gitcho. Gitcho has been communication director for several members of Congress and national press secretary for the Republican National Committee. She received a bachelor’s degree in political communications at Ripon College in Wisconsin in 2001 and a master’s degree in political communications from Colorado State University in 2003.

Press Secretary Andrea Saul. A native of Dalton, Ga. – a town that bills itself as the “Carpet Capital of the World” -- Saul worked as communications director or press secretary for congressional campaigns and was director of media affairs for the McCain-Palin ticket as well as working for the RNC. She received a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University in 2004. An article on The Dalton Daily Citizen website said she majored in communications and Spanish.   

Digital Director Zac Moffatt. In charge of a relatively new branch of campaigning, Moffatt was part of Targeted Victory, an interactive advertising agency. He graduated from Sanford University in 2002 with a degree in political science and history.   

Policy Director Lanhee Chen. Chen was the chief domestic policy advisor to Romney in the 2008 campaign as well as working at the Heritage Foundation. He is credited with writing Romney’s 59-point position paper on the economy, according to an article on the politico.com website. The site said he graduated from Harvard University with a degree in political science, then received master’s and doctorate degrees in political science and a law degree, all from Harvard.

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Economic Policy Advisor Danita Ng. She has been policy director for campaigns in California and worked as communications director and a research analyst for California state agencies. She received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Wellesley College in 2004 and a law degree from University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law in 2009. She finished second in a legal writing competition at the school in 2007, the college website said.

Domestic Policy Advisor Anna Gatlin.She was a legislative intern for a Massachusetts congresswoman and education specialist at the Tennessee State Museum. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi in 2007. An article at the dailyleader.com website based in Mississippi said she majored in political science, English and Spanish. In addition, she received a master’s degree in secondary English Education from New York University in 2009 and a second master’s in education policy and management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2011, the article said.

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