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USA: Kamala Harris’s husband ‘spurns White House job’ for teaching post

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Vice president-elect Kamala Harris’s husband Doug Emhoff, the US’s first “second gentleman”, will take on a teaching role at Georgetown Law from January 2021, the college announced, putting an end to speculation about a possible White House job.

“I am delighted that Douglas Emhoff will be joining our faculty. Doug is one of the nation’s leading intellectual property and business litigators, and he has a strong commitment to social justice,” announced Georgetown Law Dean William M Treanor on Thursday.

“I know our students will greatly benefit from his experience and insight, and I am eagerly looking forward to his arrival.”

Mr Emhoff has an almost 30-year career during which he is known for “litigating high stakes disputes with an emphasis on media, entertainment, and intellectual property matters”, Mr Treanor said.

“I’ve long wanted to teach and serve the next generation of young lawyers. I couldn’t be more excited to join the Georgetown community,” Mr Emhoff said in a statement.

At Georgetown law, Mr Emhoff will serve as a visiting fellow “drawing in part on his deep expertise in media and entertainment matters to teach related coursework” starting with entertainment law disputes in the upcoming spring semester, said a statement from the Georgetown Law, which calls itself the US’s largest law school.

He will also be a distinguished fellow of Georgetown Law’s Institute for Technology Law and Policy, as part of a “new entertainment and media law initiative that will include a speaker series and other projects.”

Earlier this year, when his wife Ms Harris started campaigning for the election, Mr Emhoff took a temporary leave from his job as a partner at powerhouse law firm DLA Piper. The couple got married in 2014 when Ms Harris was California’s attorney general.

In November, when the Biden-Harris team won the elections and it was confirmed that she would become the US’s first black, Indian-American and female vice president, Mr Emhoff decided to leave his job altogether to support her.

It added to speculation that Mr Emhoff could become the first “second spouse” to take on a formal White House role. It is more common for relatives of the president to be politically active, with Mr Trump’s daughter and son-in-law Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner handed jobs as White House advisers.

A Biden official had told Fox News at the time that Mr Emhoff was “working with the Biden-Harris transition team to develop the portfolio he will focus on to support the work of the administration”.

However, Mr Emhoff had himself said in an interview with People magazine that he was not looking to take a White House job full time, saying there are plenty of great people and advisers around Ms Harris already.

“I’m her partner, I’m her best friend and I’m her husband. And that’s what I’m here for. I’m here to have her back,” he had said.

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