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Alvin From

Al From (BSJ65, MSJ66) is a member of the inaugural class of the Medill Hall of Achievement in 1997.

From is a strategist and policy entrepreneur with a track record of injecting innovative ideas into the national debate and turning major national institutions around. He is the author of the book “The New Democrats and the Return to Power” published by Palgrave Macmillan. The new feature documentary film, Crashing the Party, is based on his book.

He is an adjunct professor in the graduate program of the Center for Advanced Governmental Studies at the Krieger Schools of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins University and is principal of The From Company, LLC, which offers strategic advice to private clients.

In March 1985, From founded the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), the organization that played a central role in the resurgence of the modern Democratic Party after three straight landslide losses in the 1980s. He led the DLC from its inception until April 2009. The New York Times Magazine, in February 2010, called the DLC under From’s leadership one of the two “most influential think tanks in history, the primary shapers of political thought at the end of the broadcast age.”

From played a prominent role in the 1992 election of President Bill Clinton, and served as Domestic Policy Advisor during the Clinton transition. In 1998, with First Lady Hillary Clinton, From began a dialogue with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and other world leaders, and the DLC brand–known as The Third Way–became a model for resurgent progressive governments around the globe. In November 1999, joining President Clinton, From moderated the first-ever live video presidential town hall meeting on the Internet.

Before founding the DLC, From was executive director of the House Democratic Caucus, served in President Jimmy Carter’s White House and was staff director of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Relations.

He serves on Medill Board of Advisers and on the Board of Advisors for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce National Chamber Foundation. He was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy Board of Visitors in 1999, and served as chairman until December 2002 when his term expired. 

While at Medill, From was editor of The Daily Northwestern.