Devilist: A Blue Devil cabinet?

Writer: 
October 21, 2016

Who should America's next president include in his or her cabinet?

We suggest a few Blue Devils worthy of consderation.

Vice President: Ken Jeong ’90. If Veep has taught us anything, the vice president merely needs to be entertaining; Jeong, the funnyman who starred in both Community and The Hangover, fits the bill. And if the candidates’ health is a concern, it can’t hurt to have Jeong, a licensed physician, close to the Oval Office.

Secretary of State: Nan Keohane. The president of Duke from 1993 through 2004, Keohane is a political theorist and recently worked as a visiting professor at both Princeton University and the Institute for Advanced Study. But more important, no matter how strained international relations are, they’ll pale in comparison to the student-administration struggles on Tailgate.

Secretary of Defense: Shane Battier ’01. The starting power forward on Duke’s 2001 championship team, Battier carved out a fourteen-year career in the NBA as a defensive stopper. In Washington, he could take charge at key moments while making innumerable little contributions that’d show up in neither box scores nor the Library of Congress.

Press Secretary: Kathryn Minshew ’08. The entrepreneur and founder of the career-development platform and job discovery tool The Muse, Minshew has the necessary credentials to—on a daily basis—patiently answer questions from people needing some assistance. 

Secretary of Social Media (Proposed Department): Retta Sirleaf ’92. If Minshew handles the old guard of the media, Sirleaf— a standup comedian known for her role of Parks and Recreation and her engaging Twitter personality— can connect with younger generations by simply live-tweeting national events.

Secretary of Disruption (Proposed Department): Tim Cook M.B.A. ’88. The chief executive officer of Apple would bring sweeping changes to the White House: (1) no more phone jacks, (2) updates to security that are apparently necessary every other week, and (3) incredibly lengthy president- citizen agreements to be signed with every decision.

Secretary of Remaking Keanu Reeves Movies from the ’90s (Proposed Department): Lesa Kennedy ’83. If we ever need a reboot of the Speed franchise (and arguably, we need it more than ever), Kennedy—the chief executive officer of International Speedway Corporation, a member of NASCAR’s board of directors, and granddaughter of NASCAR founder Bill France—would be our best bet.

Secretary of Rationality (Proposed Department): Dan Ariely Ph.D. ’98. The James B. Duke Professor of psychology and behavioral economics, and the author of Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality, can just tell us when we’re being stupid. 

Maybe you have a different list. Share it with us at dukemag@duke.edu

  • Lucas Hubbard '14 is the Clay Felker Fellow staff writer at Duke Magazine.