Obama's Crew Abounds With Expats

Experiences abroad make for good policies at home, advisers say
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2009 7:44 PM CST
In this Sept. 29, 2008 file photo, Barack Obama steps off the plane with senior advisor Valerie Jarrett at the airport in Denver, Colo.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
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(Newser) – If you’re seeking a job in the Obama administration, you may want to get out more—way out, Newsweek reports. Like the president-elect, many of his advisers have lived in other countries. Top aide Valerie Jarrett was born in Iran and has traveled widely, mixing with Europeans, Arabs, and Latin Americans. Such travels make her "more open to different perspectives," Jarrett said.

Treasury Secretary nominee Timothy Geithner grew up abroad, as did a candidate for overseeing NASA, who says living among Africans helped him “see them as individuals.” Team Obama may reflect a US trend: Americans working and studying abroad exceeded 241,000 in 2006-07, more than double the decade before. Still, only 22% of Americans actually have passports.