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Furman alum draws praise in President Obama speech

As special assistant to the White House chief of staff

When President Barack Obama spoke at the White House on Feb. 27 to announce the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative, he made mention of 2001 Furman graduate Maurice Owens. The initiative is an effort to improve the expected educational and life outcomes for “boys and young men of color,” and Obama talked about how Owens had overcome some difficult challenges to achieve success in the world. Owens currently works in the White House as special assistant to chief of staff Denis McDonough.

“Moe,” as President Obama referred to Owens, is a graduate of Furman’s political science program. He started work at the White House under President George W. Bush as a network systems maintenance and audio-visual technician, and then assumed the role of Situation Room communicator under President Obama. Since February 2013, Owens has served as McDonough’s special assistant, which entails executing special projects and assisting with the office’s day-to-day operations.

The transcript of President Obama’s speech, as well as the video (Owens’ mention begins at about 35:30), is available online.

Last updated February 28, 2014
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Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director