Miller Center

Miller Center Senior Fellows

Melody Barnes

Melody Barnes is a co-founder and principal of MBSquared Solutions LLC, a domestic strategy firm. From January 2009 until January 2012, she was assistant to the president and director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, a position in which she provided strategic advice to President Obama and worked closely with members of the cabinet coordinating the domestic policy agenda across the administration. Until 2008, Barnes was the executive vice president for policy at the Center for American Progress, a progressive research institute and think tank. From 1995 until 2003, Barnes worked for Senator Edward M. Kennedy on the Senate Judiciary Committee; she served as his chief counsel from 1998 until 2003.

Douglas A. Blackmon

Douglas A. Blackmon is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II, and co-executive producer of the acclaimed PBS documentary of the same name. His is also executive producer and host of American Forum, a public affairs program produced by the Miller Center and aired on public television affiliates across the U.S. Until joining the Washington Post in 2011, Blackmon was the longtime chief of The Wall Street Journal’s Atlanta bureau and the paper’s senior national correspondent. He has written about or directed coverage of some of the most pivotal stories in American life, including the election of President Barack Obama, the rise of the tea party movement, and the BP oil spill. He is co-author of a forthcoming memoir and public policy volume with former Attorney General Eric Holder.

Mary Kate Cary

Mary Kate Cary is a former White House speechwriter for President George H. W. Bush. She is a political analyst for NPR, ABC News, CNN, and Fox News Channel, and she writes a column on politics for U.S. News & World Report. She is also the executive producer of 41ON41, a documentary on President Bush. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia and serves on the UVA College of Arts & Sciences Foundation Board.

Eric Edelman

Eric Edelman retired as a career minister from the U.S. Foreign Service in 2009, after having served in senior positions at the Departments of State and Defense as well as the White House. As the undersecretary of defense for policy (2005-2009), he oversaw strategy development as the defense department’s senior policy official with global responsibility for bilateral defense relations, war plans, special operations forces, homeland defense, missile defense, nuclear weapons and arms control policies, counter-proliferation, counter-narcotics, counter-terrorism, arms sales, and defense trade controls. Edelman served as U.S. Ambassador to the Republics of Finland and Turkey in the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations and was principal deputy assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney for national security affairs. Edelman has been awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, and several Department of State Superior Honor Awards. In January of 2011 he was awarded the Legion d’Honneur by the French Government. In 2016, he served as the James R. Schlesinger Distinguished Professor at the Miller Center.

Christopher P. Lu

Christopher P. Lu served as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor in the Obama Administration. During the course of a 20-year career in public service, he was the White House cabinet secretary and assistant to the president, serving as President Obama’s primary liaison to federal departments and agencies. He was also the executive director of the Obama-Biden Transition Project in 2008. Lu has experience in other branches of government as well, having served as then-Senator Obama’s legislative director, an aide to Representative Henry Waxman, and a clerk for Judge Robert E. Cowan of the U.S. Court of Appels for the Third Circuit.

Saikrishna Prakash

Saikrishna Prakash is a specialist in constitutional law, foreign relations law, and presidential powers at the University of Virginia School of Law. A graduate of Yale Law School, he clerked for Judge Laurence H. Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and for Justice Clarence Thomas of the U.S. Supreme Court. He is the author of Imperial from the Beginning: The Constitution of the Original Executive.

← Return to scholars and staff