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Biden names Minnesotan Jake Sullivan top national security adviser

WASHINGTON — Vice President Joe Biden has named Jake Sullivan, a Minnesota native and former Minneapolis lawyer and counsel to Sen. Amy Klobuchar, as his national security adviser, the White House announced Tuesday.

Sullivan grew up in Minneapolis and attended Yale, before studying international relations at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He got his law degree and clerked for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, then returned to Minneapolis to work for the law firm Faegre & Benson in 2006.

He was briefly Klobuchar’s chief counsel, but left to work as deputy policy adviser on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Sullivan followed her to the State Department, where he was director of policy planning and Clinton’s deputy chief of staff.

Sullivan was included in Time Magazine’s “40 under 40” list of emerging civil leaders. According to the Washington Post, he was one of Clinton’s closest advisers both at the State Department and on the campaign trail: “As one of the top student debaters in the world, Sullivan was Clinton’s go-to debate prepper.”

Sullivan’s new title: “Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor to the Vice President.”

 Sullivan is the latest Minnesotan to be appointed to a high-profile position in the Obama administration. Last month, Obama nominated Minnesota’s U.S. Attorney, B. Todd Jones, to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and named Stillwater native Denis McDonough his chief of staff.

Devin Henry can be reached at

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