Maju Varghese quits White House to join think tank as COO

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Maju Varghese. Photo: ned.org

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) announced Feb. 3, 2022, that it has named Maju Varghese as its new chief operating officer (COO).

Varghese, who quit his job as deputy assistant to the president and director of the White House Military Office, just a few days ago, was quoted on CNN saying it was best for him and his family that he strike a balance in his life. “One thing I learned during two tours here is it’s a demanding place to work and it’s because the work is really important, and we throw all of ourselves into this,” he told CNN.

As deputy assistant he was overseeing nearly 3,000 military and civilian personnel who ensure essential services for the daily and worldwide functioning of the presidency.

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His new job at NED begins February 7, 2022.

“We are eager to welcome Maju Varghese to the leadership team at NED,” President and Chief Executive Officer Damon Wilson is quoted saying in the press release. “His long track record of operational, managerial, and legal experience, and his demonstrated success working in complex, demanding, high-profile roles will be a great asset at a time of rapid organizational growth and change at the Endowment,” Wilson added.

Wilson described Varghese as ‘a consummate professional” who inspires integrity and exhibits a ‘generous character’ in all his interactions.

“His experience as the son of immigrants from India, his proven leadership, and deep commitment to our democratic mission will be integral to NED’s efforts to support those struggling on the frontlines of democracy around the world,” Wilson added.

Prior to his time in the White House Military Office, Varghese served as chief operating officer and senior advisor for the Biden campaign, and then as executive director of the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

Before being with Biden, Varghese held multiple roles during the Obama-Biden Administration, including assistant to the president for management and administration, and special assistant to the president and deputy director of advance.

A lawyer by training, Varghese has also worked as a senior advisor at Dentons, chief operating officer at the Hub Project, and as an associate at Wade Clark Mulcahy, a law firm in New York. (Read more about Maju Varghese here.)

The NED is an independent, nonprofit, grant-making foundation with the mission to develop and strengthen democratic institutions around the world.

The NED’s grants program is augmented by the International Forum for Democratic Studies, a research center that publishes the Journal of Democracy, the World Movement for Democracy, and the Center for International Media Assistance.

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