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The Trump Administration has hired former University Fellow Emmet Flood as White House Counsel to oversee Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. Flood was an Andrew W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow for the 1987-1988 academic year.

Flood used his fellowship, which is a part of the Center for the Humanities, to study philosophy, eventually giving colloquia entitled “Some Uses of Narrative in the History of Philosophy: Synoptic Judgment and Philosophical Plot” and “Rorty’s Satire of Modern Philosophy: Philosophical Reflections in a Broken Speculum.”

The University had just initiated a new Rockefeller Resident Fellows program, and was accepting applications for fellows under the Fall 1987 semester’s theme of “Stories and the Moral Life: Narrative as Pedagogy and Inquiry.”

“We hope that the hoopla over our new Rockefeller Fellows will not overshadow this year’s Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellows: Emmet Flood in philosophy and Larry Scanlon in medieval literature,” then-Director of the Center for the Humanities Dick Vann wrote in a Sept. 3, 1987 letter to faculty.

Flood earned a B.A. from the University of Dallas and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin in 1986. After that, he applied for the University’s Mellon Fellowship and was chosen out of approximately 126 candidates.

c/o Wesleyan Special Collections and Archives

c/o Wesleyan Special Collections and Archives

Through the Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowship, individuals who have recently received a Ph.D. can further explore their own work and its relationship with the humanities. The fellowship includes a stipend.

“He or she will teach a one-semester undergraduate course; participate in the collegial life of the Center for the Humanities, which sponsors conferences, lectures, and colloquia; and give one public lecture,” the fellowship’s okreplica website says.

When asked about his time at Wesleyan, Flood declined to comment. The University declined to comment on Flood’s new position.

After his fellowship, Flood attended Yale Law School, from which he graduated in 1991.

Flood gained notoriety for work in the Clinton White House, where he defended the president amid impeachment proceedings. Flood later worked in the Bush Administration, where he handled inquiries from congressional investigations.

The White House announced last Wednesday that Ty Cobb will be retiring as White House Counsel at the end of the month, at which point he will be replaced by Flood. Flood is expected to advocate for a more aggressive White House response to the Mueller investigation.

“Emmet Flood will be joining the White House staff to represent the president and the administration against the Russia witch hunt,” the White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said in a statement last Wednesday.


Mason Mandell can be reached at mjmandell@wesleyan.edu and on Twitter @MasonMandell.

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