Google’s policy director has impressive connections

By Laurie Bennett

February 15, 2013 at 9:49am

Few people in the tech sector can compare pedigrees with Robert O. Boorstin, Google’s public policy director.

He is the nephew of author and historian Daniel J. Boorstin, librarian of Congress from 1975 to 1987.

He’s also the stepson of filmmaker Alan Pakula, director of such classics as “All the President’s Men” and “Sophie’s Choice.”

Boorstin landed at Google’s Washington office following a series of jobs in other influence centers.

After working as a reporter at the New York Times, he joined the Clinton administration, serving as chief speechwriter at the National Security Council and adviser to Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Secretary of State Warren Christopher.

Boorstin was then vice president at the Center for American Progress, where he established the think tank’s national security program.

He was a registered Washington lobbyist for CAP, a distinction he does not have with Google.

In 1987, Boorstin was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

He openly shared his experiences with mental illness afterward, speaking at conferences and appearing on the “Charlie Rose Show.” (Unfortunately, the segment is no longer available online. Here’s an account of a 1994 interview with Boorstin on the topic.)

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