Norman Greene ’98 didn’t grow up dreaming of a future in politics. Yet, this former William Paterson scholar-athlete found himself immersed in the last three election cycles to choose the President of the United States. Today, as the current White House director of finance, he has spent the last three years in the historic Eisenhower Executive Office Building, his desk just steps away from the West Wing.
An accounting major and a two-sport athlete for the Pioneers, Greene planned a career as an auditor in a large accounting firm. But, in 1996, he was elected as the student representative to the University’s Board of Trustees, which opened his eyes to different possibilities. When a former colleague on the Board of Trustees suggested he apply for a position on Vice President Al Gore’s campaign staff, Greene saw his career path take an unexpected turn.
Greene spent several years with the Gore/Lieberman campaign as a senior accountant. Following a brief stint at DFI International, he became the controller/compliance officer for John Kerry’s presidential run in 2004. After serving as a senior member of Kerry’s wind-down team, Greene accepted a position with the United Nations Development Programme, and later as assistant controller for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
In July 2008, Greene secured a position as assistant controller with the Obama campaign. Following President Obama’s election, he became the transition team’s assistant director of finance, and in January 2009 was tabbed as the White House’s director of finance. He serves as a senior member of the financial team responsible for administering the White House’s $60 million appropriation. “The best part of my work is ensuring the President and all members of the White House staff have the resources to complete their official duties,” he says.
Once and always a Pioneer, Greene stays in close contact with many of his former teammates and coaches. Those connections are a reminder of where and how he developed the life skills necessary to be where he is today.
“I attribute my current work ethic to my life as a student-athlete,” Greene says. “The effort required of me year-round showed me what hard work and determination can accomplish. Every day I’ve applied the same effort, and I believe because of that effort I can proudly say I work for the President of the United States.”
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