Christine Varney was sworn in on October 14, 1994, as a Commissioner to the Federal Trade Commission. Prior to joining the Commission, Ms. Varney served as President Clinton's Cabinet Secretary.
In her capacity as Secretary to the Cabinet, Ms. Varney was the primary point of contact between the President and the 20 members of his Cabinet. She was responsible for the overall coordination of several major issues and initiatives between the White House and the agencies. She regularly met with top government officials and convened interagency meetings as appropriate. Working closely with other senior government officials, Ms. Varney provided the President with regular briefings on the progress of Administration initiatives. In addition, Ms. Varney also coordinated the government-wide response to natural disasters.
Prior to joining the Clinton Administration, Ms. Varney practiced law with the Washington, D.C. firm of Hogan & Hartson. Her representations included serving as Chief Counsel to the Clinton/Gore Campaign, General Counsel to the 1992 Presidential Inaugural Committee, and General Counsel to the Democratic National Committee from 1989 to 1992.
Ms. Varney's legal practice was administrative, regulatory, and legislative, focusing on a wide variety of matters including health, trade, environment, energy, transportation and communications issues. In addition, Ms. Varney has extensive experience in election law and has advised a number of campaigns, candidates, political organizations, and political action committees.
Ms. Varney has lectured extensively, both in the United States and abroad, on various legal issues in American politics. Ms. Varney has also been involved in an ongoing international dialogue on comparative political processes and competition policy with foreign government officials through the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Ms. Varney regularly contributes to a variety of publications.
Ms. Varney's post-graduate degrees include a 1986 Juris Doctorate from the Georgetown University Law Center, where she was a Law Fellow, and a 1978 Masters in Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. She attended Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and is a 1977 graduate of the State University of New York in Albany.
Ms. Varney is a member of the District of Columbia Bar, the New York State Bar, the American Bar Association and the National Lawyers' Council. She has been active in a number of Democratic political groups in Washington. She is also a committee member on the ABA Standing Committee on Election Law and is active in the Antitrust Section.
Ms. Varney was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Syracuse, New York. She is married to Thomas J. Graham and they have two children.