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Capitol Briefs: 3 Webster University alumni tapped by Biden administration

Three alumni of Webster University in St. Louis were tapped for prominent positions by President Joe Biden, both in his administration and his presidential campaign.

Alumni Jesse Lawder and retired Gen. Lloyd Austin III were appointed to positions in Biden’s Cabinet while Dalmyra Price Caesar served on Biden’s campaign. University President Julian Schuster said the alumni exemplified the university’s standards and approach to education. 

“Certainly we are very proud of these alums that have been appointed in the Biden administration to very important posts,” Schuster told The Missouri Times. “Here at Webster we ask questions and try to understand the issues that we are dealing with, and then we try to apply the solutions to the circumstances we are in. I think these three individuals epitomize that approach.”

  • Lawder, a 2003 graduate of the university who previously served as vice president of marketing and communications for St. Louis Planned Parenthood, was confirmed as deputy assistant secretary of Labor for Public Affairs in the Biden administration. 
  • Austin was nominated and confirmed as secretary of defense. Austin graduated from Webster in 1989 and is the first Black man to serve in the position. He also served as commander of United States Central Command (CENTCOM) and vice chief of staff of the Army. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in January. 
  • Caesar, a 2006 graduate, served as director of human resources for Biden’s presidential campaign. She served in that position from October 2019 through the November election. 

Schuster also touted a recent paper authored by the university’s leadership on its experience with COVID-19 and racial inequality; the paper was chosen for publication in the Journal of Higher Education Management.

Cover photo from Webster University Facebook page.