“It was a tremendous honor and pleasure to work with Senator Kaufman. He is extraordinarily energetic, smart, and accomplished. In just two years, he was able to accomplish more than what many senators do in an entire career,” says Associate Professor Geoff Moulton
, who returns to Widener Law following a stint as Chief Counsel for former U.S. Senator Edward E. Kaufman.
Following the election of President Barack Obama, Kaufman was picked by then Delaware Governor Ruth Ann Minner to fill the remaining term of former U.S. Senator Joe Biden, who left to become Obama’s Vice President. Moulton – who was interested in the opportunity to go “down to Washington at an exciting and important time,” and had sought a position in the Obama Administration for a federal position – received a call from Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, whom Moulton had worked with while he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Biden told Professor Moulton to expect a call from Senator Kaufman.
Senator Kaufman persuaded Professor Moulton to join his staff as Chief Counsel, and beginning in March of 2009, Moulton shuttled back and forth between Washington and Wilmington so that he could continue teaching his classes until the end of the semester in April. Following that, he took an extended leave of absence.
While serving as Senator Kaufman’s Chief Counsel, Professor Moulton’s primary work involved Senator Kaufman’s service on the Judiciary and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committees. He had the opportunity to work on the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
“Witnessing the nomination and confirmation process from the inside was a great opportunity,” he says.
He worked on several other important projects while serving on the Senator’s senior staff as well, including comprehensive patent reform efforts that have since become bogged down. He also worked on the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
“Senator Kaufman was very interested in Wall Street reform. He thought that it was particularly important in light of the financial crisis,” says Moulton, who notes that watching the legislative process “will be helpful as I return to academics.”
For the final eight months of his leave following Senator Kaufman’s resignation in November of 2010, Professor Moulton served as a Deputy Special Inspector General for the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP). SIGTARP’s oversight of the Troubled Asset Relief Program included both criminal law enforcement and auditing responsibilities. During his time with SIGTARP, he had the opportunity to interview Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner and A.I.G. CEO Robert H. Benmosche.
“It was interesting, challenging and demanding. I learned a lot about the finance industry,” he says of his work at SIGTARP.
Professor Moulton thanked Dean Linda L. Ammons
for the opportunity to take the leave, saying, “It was a tremendous experience, and I thank Widener for giving me the chance to do it. It will have an extraordinary impact on my teaching and scholarship.”